Sunday, May 29, 2005

Children's Sermon - Pentecost 2

Maggie and her friend Emily were playing at the beach. They didn’t swim because the water was too cold, so they just played with the sand, building castles.

Maggie and Emily worked hard all afternoon, and built a small sand city in their little corner of the beach. They were almost finished when they heard a big yell, then...
(the rest here)

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Where was my head?

Last week, most of my blogging was about soap opera taking place in Ottawa. Most of the blogs I’ve been reading were about Belinda crossing the floor and the non-confidence vote on May 19th.

Upon refection, I wonder why I spent so much time and energy worrying about Canadian politics when there is so much happening at my church. Usually, I’m pretty focused on my work. There’s much about my job that I love. Preaching, visitation, visioning, dreaming, looking for signs of God in peoples’ lives then showing them to the world; it’s a great way to spend one’s life.

Then why wasn’t I doing that?

I’m wondering if the Liberal party woes were a good distraction from the battle raging in my denomination over Same Sex Blessings. A battle that has the potential to filter into my little church family. I grieve that.

My natural instinct is to gear up for the fight. My breastplate of righteousness and helmet of salvation was getting pretty dusty laying around in the closet. It would have felt great jumping into the fray and getting blood on my hands, just like the good ole days when I was involved with partisan politics.

I joined the NDP when I was 15. I left the party when they screwed Bob Rae in the 1995 Ontario election, making way for the most reactionary, mean-spirited government Ontario had ever seen.

The issue was the deficit. Bob Rae wanted to bring it under control. Good for him. He called it the “Social Contract.

The unions went hysterical. I guess many union leaders don’t mind carrying a balance on their credit cards because during the election, Rae had to fight against the Conservative “Common Sense Revolution” and the battles in his own party, over this issue. Which is bizarre. Tommy Douglas always balanced the budget.

We tried to tell the unions that if they didn’t like the Social Contract, they’d hate the Common Sense Revolution. But we were told that the unions were prepared to fight us until Rae was removed from office.

Rae was creamed. When he quite the party, so did I.

I joined the Liberals. The NDP has idealism. The Liberals have better food on election night.

The NDP taught me social compassion. The Liberals taught me the thrill of winning. Even if winning meant doing so pretty unsavoury stuff. But it felt great. Winning is a powerful narcotic.

When I heard the call to ordained ministry, I left partisan politics behind and became an activist. But activism felt shallow. The theology spoke only in grand themes such as structural injustice and economic oppression and failed to touch the real hurts of people: failed relationships, loneliness, grief, disease, mortality.

Yes, hunger, poverty, the environment are important issues. But I’m wondering if activism is often a shield against the truly human. Why worry about messing human stuff when we can fight a big faceless corporation or rightwing government? Activism defines “us” against “them” the same way partisan politics does. It creates a negative identity. Activism does not create.

Activism and partisan politics bring out the worst in me. That’s why I don’t want to gear up for the fight. I want to create unity among my people. I want them to concentrate on the vast horizons that unite us, not on the smaller issues that divide us.

But the temptation is very real. I love politics because I love the game. But I’m not called to play games. I’m called to shepherd God’s people into the kingdom of God.

Shepherding means praying for and loving the flock to which I am charged. I have no enemies, no great foe to battle, except the disunity that has the potential to divide a wonderfully caring, committed, and faithful people, wondering how to live together in the midst of great controversy.

May God grant me the compassion, strength, and desire minister to my people, building up the body of Christ, as a witness to the glory of God, the kingdom of life that is springing up around us.

Sermon: Pentecost 2 - Year

If you’ve hung around our house for any length of time you’ll know, that in our house, Rebekah owns the tools. If the gate to the backyard gets unhinged, Rebekah digs out her tool box and re-hinges it. If the weather stripping needs replacing, Rebekah gets down on her hands and knees makes sure no outside air gets in. If the kids’ playhouse does not come pre-assembled, Rebekah is outside with her drill and hammer, boring holes and hammering the walls of the house together.

We decided a long time ago that, after a few mishaps, I was not allowed near the tools.

(But in my defense, it’s my testosterone she summons when we hear a strange noise in the backyard at night or when a telemarketer calls)

So, I take it at my wife’s good word that Jesus makes some pretty strange....
(read the rest here)

Friday, May 27, 2005

Monte Solberg on blogging

Monte Solberg has a great blog. While there's much in it with which I disagree, it's always well written, often funny and occasionally poignant. He talks to Politics Watch about politics and blogging.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Harper liberals?

Kinsella pointed to this blog. Lots, and I mean LOTS, of Liberals are frustrated with this current crew in Ottawa.

Here's an excerpt:

I plan on switching to the Conservatives next election. I have been a Liberal voter in the past but I can no longer just hold my nose and vote for them again. Martin has been a huge disappointment to me and the all consuming priority of the federal liberals now seems to be “what do we have to do to stay in power” And it seems that they will do anything.

However, this Liberal can't support a party where Randy White and Cheryl Gallant (also, this) can find a home. Maybe the NDP or Greens will get my vote in the next election.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Alberta Blogs

Check out a great new site dedicated to, you guessed it, Alberta Blogs ("a blog about blogs in Alberta" is the tag line). Great idea!

June Pastoral Letter

Probably the most contentious issue facing our denomination (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada – ELCIC for short) in recent memory is the resolution before the National Convention on Same-Sex Blessings.

In our congregation, we have people at both ends of the spectrum and everywhere in between. There are caring, compassionate, thoughtful, and faithful people on every side of this issue, asking the same question, “How do we minister faithfully and compassionately, and with integrity, to gays and lesbians?” But they each answer the question differently.

So we need to remember that both sides of the debate, at their best, are coming from good places. Some may be “liberal” and some maybe “conservative,” and others somewhere in between. But each brings their own unique gifts and perspectives to the conversation.

Conservatism, at its very best, draws lines that should never be crossed. And liberalism, at its very best, opens doors wide open to those who have been shut out, hurt, or abused.

It seems to me that we need to be both as we struggle, as a family of faith, in discerning what it means to live as people of God in controversial times. We need to be “conservative” in things like being stewards of the mysteries of God and inheritors of the message of salvation. And we need to be “liberal” when hurting people come knocking on our door, hungry for the bread of life and thirsty for living water.

Folks have asked, “If the resolution, in its current form, passes, how will it affect Good Shepherd?”

The resolution will have no binding effect on Good Shepherd in that it will not change any current policy or practice of our congregation. In other words, Same-Sex Blessings will NOT occur at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd unless we, as a congregation, decide to take the necessary steps as outlined by the resolution; i.e., “the consent of the pastor, the consent of the congregation or calling agency as expressed by a 2/3 majority vote at a duly called meeting, and consultation with the synodical bishop.”

Furthermore, I will NOT be forced to bless same-sex unions, if this resolution passes, anymore that I am forced to bless anything else. I will remain free to exercise my pastoral duties without interference from any outside agency.

The current resolution is being dubbed “The Local Option” because its authors recognize that many congregations will, on biblical, theological, and/or moral grounds, oppose the blessing of same-sex unions, and that other congregations will want to embrace this ministry on the same grounds. The churches of the ELCIC are not of one mind on this issue. The National Church Council (the national governing body) recognizes the diversity of opinion in the Church and has tried to supply a compromise. The Local Option, it is believed, helps congregations discern for themselves the course they will chart, thus retaining the autonomy we cherish as Lutherans.

It has been brought to my attention that some of our members are considering finding another church home if this resolution passes. Others have suggested to me that they will attend another church if this resolution does NOT pass. I regret that this issue has caused so much pain for some people and that our family of faith may be smaller after July’s Convention.

Important issues are confronting the church. Our differences do matter. But our common faith matters more.

Our Bishop, Steve Kristenson, reminds us that, as we work through this issue as a national church body, we “must keep our eyes on Jesus, in whom we have our unity…the church has always argued along the way – it is part of human nature. In the end, we must always submit to Christ.”

It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide our national church and our family known as Good Shepherd. Please keep praying for the convention, our delegate Wayne Street and for myself, as well as for the on-going ministry of this congregation. We have challenging times ahead. But the crucified and risen Jesus walks with us.

Friday, May 20, 2005

A witness to evil: Roméo Dallaire and Rwanda

The church can learn much from secular saints like Dallaire. Here's a link to some videos describing the Rwandan genocide.

Thanks to Jordan and Scott.

Mai Mew Sings

A friend in Ontario started a blog. Check it out! Here's an excerpt

So, what's up with this country's obsession with Tim Horton's coffee? I've seen traffic jams caused by people trying to get through the Tim Horton's drive-though. People will wait in long line-ups, in drive-throughs or in the store, just to get their Tim Horton's coffee. I've seen people walk past free coffee just to get Timmy's coffee.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Liberals stay in gov't for another week!

Milliken carried the vote! (as if that were a question). Now lets get back to work, folks...

Cadman votes for the gov't! It goes to the Speaker!

Wow! Here it comes...history in the making!

I'm watching the vote unfold...

Boy...the atmosphere in the House looks electric....

Today's best political quote, so far:

"Come hell or high water, there's no frigging way I'm going to let one ovary bring the government down,"

Courtesy of Carolyn Parrish. Who else?

The Liberals win either way

IT doesn't matter which way the budget vote goes today. If the Libs win, they get to govern for another 9 months. If they lose, they get to fight another election where they are ahead in Ontario.

Last night CBC suggested that the Libs WANTED to lose this vote. I don't think that's the case, but I also don't think an election right now is the nightmare scenario. If the gov't falls, so does the Gomery inquiry.

For the Libs, that might be the biggest blessing of all.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Peter MacKay: A Class Act

"I'd rather just leave the personal side of this to people I trust and care about and I'll just get on with my job. That means working with my caucus, my colleagues, my party and my leader."

The rest here.

No snide comments. No cheap shots. Just an honest assessment of the situation. MacKay is handling himself valiently under deep personal and professional stress. A class act.

Some Conservatives grow discourged by the tone.

Self-criticism is a skill of the mature minded. Many Conservatives seem to have a good grasp on this. Some Conservative bloggers recognize the problem. Read this. Also, this.

Public comments like these ones will only hurt the Conservatives. The Liberals will use them to stoke Tory fear in Ontario if/when an election is called.

I'm glad that reasonable, mature Conservatives are rebuking their own.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Okay, I get why Tories are upset, but could you lay off the sexism?

"Whore" "Prostitute" "Bimbo" "Dipstick" "Blonde Ambition" These are just some of the words I've been hearing today from Conservatives to describe Belinda Stronach and her defection to the Liberals. Would these kinds of names be hurled at Peter Mackay if he was the one that defected? Even Scott Brison, in all his homosexual glory, was saved the brutal personal attacks after he crossed the floor and joined the Liberals.

It's terrible how we treat our women.

I get why Conservatives are upset. This is a HUGE betrayal. I'd be upset too if, say, Liza Frulla or Lucienne Robillard (granted, not exactly a great comparison) jumped ship and landed with the Bloc. But nasty, childish, sexist name calling demeans the democratic process and hurts women who aspire to power.

Let the voters of Newmarket-Aurora decide if her defection is a betrayal to the principles she ran on. In the meantime, let's be civilized.

I would have never seen this coming in a million years! Belinda joins Liberals!

I've never been a big fan of Belinda Stronach. To me, she's been the face of raw political ambition; using her daddy's money to attempt the leadership of the newly merged Tories (and possibly the PMO). Politics as game for the wealthy children of the elite.

But her actions today reveal a broader motivation: forcing an election before the Conservative party has grown and established itself in Quebec, the hold over Quebec of the Bloc Québécois can only grow into the vacuum. The result will be to stack the deck in favour of separatism and the possibility of a Conservative government beholden to the separatists.

(Read the rest here. )

Exactly. If a snap election is called the protest votes in Quebec will not go to the Conservatives. They will go to the Bloc. Does Stephen Harper really want to jeopardize Canada's unity for a grab at power in a minority parliament with the Bloc as Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition?

Today's Globe has a good article on Belinda's liberal conservatism.

Monday, May 16, 2005

A conspiracy of sorts?

Auditor general says "Canadians expect better" from federal ad contracting

Read the article here.

Doesn't Fraser's comments sound suspiciously the Conservative slogan for last year's federal election - Canada deserves better - ?

And her statement comes out just four days before the budget vote?

My conspiracy senses are tingling.

Friday, May 13, 2005

A Friday Rant: Contemporary Christian Music and Biblical Illiteracy

I was driving around the city last night, doing home visits and I flipped on the local Christian radio station. I don’t often listen to Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) because I’m more of a classical music sort of guy. I turned in the Christian station for a change of pace.

What I heard deeply disturbed me. Talk about theology-lite! It’s not that I was looking for versified versions of Luther’s Works, but I listened to the station for a full half hour and only heard a few bible verses in the music. I heard a lot of “Jesus you are so cool” or “I give my heart to you, Jesus” sorts of songs. But no songs based on psalms - the songbook of the church. No deep yearning after God. No announcement of the good news of the kingdom of God. Just feel good, mediocre versions of mediocre pop music.

Jesus = best buddy, or lover, or just a cool guy to hang out and jam with. Few expressions of Jesus as Saviour.

I wonder if these sorts of Christian songs are contributing to the growing biblical illiteracy in our society and the shallow theology in some of our churches.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Justin Trudeau says the Liberals could use some time in the wilderness

Thanks to Kinsella for this.

Justin Trudeau says he fears renewal of separatism in ugly political climate (Trudeau-Future)
Source: The Canadian Press
May 11, 2005 17:42

By Dennis Bueckert

OTTAWA (CP) - Justin Trudeau says the Liberals could use some time in the wilderness.

"That was one of my father's tricks to stay grounded, and it's certainly one of mine,'' Trudeau said Wednesday. "You get back out of the woods, you regain a certain amount of perspective.''

The son of one of Canada's most charismatic and controversial prime ministers said the political situation today is "ugly.''

He said the sponsorship scandal is evidence of sloppiness in a government that has lacked serious opposition for too long.

"I'd like to see the Conservatives come back to being a strong, credible, national force,'' he said as he fielded questions on a visit to Parliament Hill.

"I don't think the way they are right now they're going to be able to do that.''

The Liberals missed a chance for renewal when Jean Chretien stepped down as Liberal leader and prime minister, he said.

Of particular worry to the younger Trudeau is the rise of the sovereignty movement since the sponsorship mess.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau was obsessed by national unity and defeated the sovereigntists in the 1980 referendum but he never decisively conquered separatism.

"That's one of the things that really scares me right now,'' said the younger Trudeau. "I think we are far closer to the separation of Quebec than we have been for a very long time and I don't think anyone in Ottawa particularly, but in the rest of Canada, is aware or ready to deal with it.''

With the complexion of an outdoorsman and the tousled mane of a rebel, Trudeau radiates health, idealism and the charisma of his father.

But the 33-year-old readily concedes he's too young and inexperienced yet to jump into the fray.

"I'm talking about life experience, I'm talking about depth, I'm talking about a lot of things to learn, a lot of things to understand.

"My own core values are very much in place, but to look at how to make the transition between what you believe into actual policy and actual real decisions, I'm a long way from being able to do that. . . . I'm so young still. It'll take some time.''

He says he's serving his country through his leadership of the Katimavik youth program, which enlists young volunteers to do community service across Canada.

"I will be involved in making a difference and effecting change as much as I can for the rest of my life. Will it end up with me being here (Parliament)? Maybe. I've always said maybe.

"But I'm a long way from that and I'm a long way from being ready for that, and I'm a long way from wanting to do it right now.

"There have to be some serious changes in me and in this place before we're a proper fit.''

Amen. It's time for Liberals to be liberals once again. Not a group of arrogant, corrupt, politicos. I don't know if Justin is the guy to help re-new the party (Michael Ignatieff?), but there are many Liberals (like myself) who long to see ideas and values drive policy rather than raw politics.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Let's read the motion before passing judgement

Courtesy of Paul Wells

“the First Report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, presented on Thursday, October 28, 2004, be not now concurred in, but that it be recommitted to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts with instruction that it amend the same so as to recommend that the government resign because of its failure to address the deficiencies in governance of the public service addressed in the report.”.

Emphasis mine, of course. I believe a reasonably bookish 12-year-old could understand this. A report comes wheeling out of a committee somewhere. The Commons is invited:
• to say it disagrees with the report ("not now concurred in");
• to send it back to the committee ("recommitted to the Standing Committee");
• to invite the committee to call for the government's resignation ("amend the same so as to recommend...").

Maybe I need it spelled out to me in small words, but where does the Oppostion get the authority to use this motion as a non-confidence since this motion is addressed to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts? According to parliamentary rules, the motion makes no sense.

While I may not be Paul Martin's biggest fan, I see the Conservative's display last night as nothing short of parliamentary bullying.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Confidence Vote Today

It is widely believed the Liberals would rather test their government on the budget -- a scenario in which they could blame the Opposition for voting against promised spending on social programs, cities and the environment.

If all MPs are present for the budget vote, and the Liberal-NDP block can secure the support of all three Independents, then the vote would be a 153-153 tie with the Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois.

In that case, the Speaker would cast the deciding vote.

The rest here.

I still don't know how I'll vote if an election is called. I'm simply not a Conservative. Nor am I a NDP leftie.

Stephen Harper seems to assume that votes will come his way if an election is held. That presumes that folks, (especially in Ontario and the Maritimes) would replace disgust with Liberal corruption with Conservative policies. Just because people are angry with the Liberals doesn't necessarily mean that they want huge tax cuts at the expense of social programs.

I think the NDP has a lot to gain, especially in Ontario. But, of course, the NDP has a history of shooting themselves in the foot, federally. As if winning was a moral failing.

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Dignity of the Human Person

Steve from Catholicism, Holiness and Spirituality contributes to another blog called Sollicitudo Rei Socialis Steve is a very thoughtful, humble, and articulate guy, always trying to be faithful and understanding at the same time. His blog is always a breath of fresh air when the blogosphere is polluted with rants masquarading as "opinion" (something of which I've been guilty at times).

Here's an excerpt:

It gets complicated sometimes, when a politician endorses views that promote the dignity of some while ignoring others. Hardly any American politician these days has a perfect track record on this issue, so as participants in the democratic process we have to make choices. We have to make choices that we feel maximize, or do the most to advance our society’s respect for the dignity of all people. We will come to different conclusions and reach different decisions, but if we are all working to advance the overall society’s stance on dignity then dignity will advance. It may not be in a straight and fast line, but how much of life and society is like that anyway? We all – individuals and society – move forward in crooked lines with stumbles and sprints along the way.

In practical terms, if we feel led to vote for a politician who is against the war in Iraq but is pro-abortion, then perhaps we could offset that a bit by donating to or volunteering at a pro-life pregnancy center? Or if we vote for the anti-abortion, pro-death penalty politician maybe we could lend some support to Sr Helen Prejean and her Sisters of St Joesph of Medaille?

Read the whole thing here.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Catholic Social Teaching

From the Office of Social Justice at theCatholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Catholic Social Teaching. Condensed by Steve at Catholicism, Holiness and Spirituality. There is much here that can build bridges across denominational lines. Since seminary I've been reading Catholic writers such as Thomas Merton, Hans Kung, Yves Congar, Marie-Dominique Chenu, Dean Brackley, and the papal encyclicals such as Rerum Novorum and Gaudium et Spes, and discovered a rich tradition of church teaching that confronts the destructive effects of the rampant consumerism of our western world with the power of the gospel.

Dignity of the Human Person
Human life is sacred, and the dignity of the human person is the starting point for a moral vision for society.

Common Good and Community
Human dignity can only be realized and protected in the context of relationships with the wider society. The obligation to "love our neighbor" has an individual dimension, but it also requires a broader social commitment.

Option for the Poor
The "option for the poor," is not an adversarial slogan that pits one group or class against another. Rather it states that the deprivation and powerlessness of the poor wounds the whole community.

Rights and Responsibilities

Every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities - to one another, to our families, and to the larger society.

Role of Government and Subsidiarity
The state has a positive moral function. The functions of government should be performed at the lowest level possible, as long as they can be performed adequately.

Economic Justice
The economy must serve people, not the other way around.

Stewardship of God's Creation
The goods of the earth are gifts from God, and they are intended by God for the benefit of everyone. We have a responsibility to care for these goods as stewards and trustees, not as mere consumers and users.

Promotion of Peace and Disarmament
In the words of Pope John Paul II, "Peace is not just the absence of war. It involves mutual respect and confidence between peoples and nations. It involves collaboration and binding agreements.”


All people have a right to participate in the economic, political, and cultural life of society.

Global Solidarity and Development

We are one human family. Our responsibilities to each other cross national, racial, economic and ideological differences.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Share a Secret

I wanted the disease to be my punishment. He kept going and I didn't tell him the condom broke.

Check out a blog dedicated to sharing secrets anonomously. Folks send in a post card with a confession/secret/longing, etc, and it is posted.

Some are heartbreaking. Some funny ("I used to pee in snowballs before I threw them at my friends"). All are achingly human.

Deeply moving. Thanks Scott

George F Will: The Christian Complex

I like George Will. I started reading his columns in high school when a very attractive and very conservative young woman tried to convert me to the right wing cause. I certainly don't always agree with Will. But he usually has a reasoned, considered opinion.

Here's an excerpt from a recent Washington Post column.

Some Christians should practice the magnanimity of the strong rather than cultivate the grievances of the weak. But many Christians are joining today's scramble for the status of victims. There is much lamentation about various "assaults" on "people of faith." Christians are indeed experiencing some petty insults and indignities concerning things such as restrictions on school Christmas observances. But their persecution complex is unbecoming because it is unrealistic.

The rest here Check it out.

Tony Blair's Big Test: Election Day in Britain

LONDON - Tony Blair is facing his toughest test since becoming British prime minister, with voters casting their ballots in a general election today.

(read the rest from cbc)

Tony Blair will probably win. But it is unclear whether it will be a minority or a thin majority. I still think this will be his last election.

If/when he wins, Blair loyalists will probably do what Chretienites did suggest that it was his leadership saavy that led the party to three consecutive victories. Forgetting that the opposition was in disarray during the 1997 and 2000 elections. Right wing vote splitting was endemic. Folks east of Manitoba couldn't buy into the Reform/Alliance vision. Stockwell Day was feared, if not loathed, in the east. The Liberals captitalized on that fear by mis-representing the Alliance's policy on health care.

In this election, the Conservatives are too far to the right to capture any new mainstream votes. The Liberal-Democrats are still too new. The Greens are just too nutty.

Also, most of Blair's opposition is coming from the anti-war left, so the progressive side of British politics may be the biggest winner in this election.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Ascension Sermon

In my last night in Halifax before moving to Lethbridge, I slept on the floor of my bedroom in a borrowed sleeping bag. Everything else was on its way to Alberta. My wife Rebekah and our daughter Sophie were staying with friends and I had to mind the dog.

I really didn’t like staying in the house alone, even though I had the dog for company. The house was so empty. This was the house where Rebekah and I began our marriage. Where we welcomed our first daughter into the world. Where the memories of a thousand meals, conversations, fights, celebrations, and all the other stuff of life lay embedded in the wood work. The barren walls told stories of our lives; absent was the stuff, but alive were the ghosts, the dusty old memories that had been packed away.

Read the whole thing here.

Real Live Preacher is back from his time away

A wonderful story.

The Dignity of Children

I'm back. Where were we?

Oh yeah, so anyway Anna had a little trouble with the offering plate a few Sundays ago. Most people who put checks in the plate politely fold them in half. Someone didn’t make a very good crease, and one of the checks opened up and was waving in the air like a tiny sail. Anna, who takes ballet and is almost five, tends to skip and run and bounce as she goes up and down the aisle, so the check caught a little breeze and flew out of the plate. When she bent down to pick it up, a few bills fell out. When she retrieved those the check fell out again. This sequence kept repeating itself until our worship service was beginning to look like a Marx Brothers’ movie.

Read the whole thing here.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

I will not speak hate...

...because, today, I saw a good, gentle, holy man, get torn down visciously because of his beliefs on a controversial issue. I will not lower myself to a level where anger trumps love.

Rebuke me if I needlessly provoke enemies; if I do not show the humility and love that Jesus calls us to.

Today, I will not live according to any other ethic than from the one who loves us, and names and claims us God's own.

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

From Calgary Grit

Paul Martin: “Let me be perfectly clear: I am going to get to the bottom of why that chicken crossed the road, come hell or high water!”

Stephen Harper: “I am going to consult with Canadians to see why they think the chicken crossed the road. Only after I have listened to Canadians will I be in a position to judge whether or not this chicken crossed the road.”

Jack Layton: “I’m not here to talk about the chicken. I’m here to talk about making Parliament work. A Kyoto plan, clean air, post-secondary education, these are the issues Canadians care about, not some chicken.”

Gilles Ducceppe: “The chicken crossing the road is a sign dat fe-dee-RAW-lism is broken.”

Scott Brison: “Let Judge Gomery report and then we will know for certain why that chicken crossed the road.”

Belinda Stronach: “It’s about growing the economy…sorry, what was the question again?”

David Herle: “Let’s call an overpriced inquiry into why the chicken crossed the road, paying particular attention to any information that could damage the Liberal brand. Then we can truly differ ourselves from our predecessor.”

Monday, May 02, 2005

Close Blair allies find their loyalty a liability as Tories target close districts

HATFIELD, England (AP) - Melanie Johnson swept into British Parliament in 1997 on a wave of enthusiasm for Tony Blair's Labour Party. With many Britons now souring on the prime minister, this may be the election one of his most loyal lieutenants loses her job.

Blair's campaign to retain his commanding House of Commons majority will be decided Thursday in hard-fought races across the country, and Johnson's is one of the tightest.

The rest here.

Tom Axworthy agrees with me.

You may recall that I wrote about how minority parliaments function. It turns out I have some support. Former Principal Secretary to Pierre Trudeau, Tom Axworthy, gives Stephen Harper a civics lesson on minority governments and historic conservatism. A great read. (From the Star. You might need to register)

Thanks, cycles2k Calgary.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

My Other Blog: The Word Proclaimed

Because my sermons take up so much space here, I started another blog called The Word Proclaimed. Check it out. Don't forget to bookmark it!

Sermon: Easter 6 - Year A

In a farmhouse in Ontario, a candle burns at the centre of a makeshift altar draped with an embroidered tablecloth. Surrounding it are crystals, gems, leather pouches, a feather, a knife, tiny ivory skulls…The assembled women sit in companionable silence, trying to expand their awareness by working with occult spirit guides – angels and fairies – in the hopes of achieving [what they call] “synchronicity.” The healer explains that during her own dark night of the soul, she realized that the human world was torn and afflicted, the result of patriarchal authority which for centuries had drastically constricted the range of human experience. Now, she says, “We have to ground our energy in the earth, and restore primary nurturing communities.” And she too seeks. In Shiatsu and Reike. The human potential movement. Celtic spirituality. Goddess worship. Wicca. Path finders.

Read the rest here.