Moving on…

moving-van2

Today we officially found out that after fourteen years of ministry in Elliot Lake we are moving on to new opportunities in Southern Ontario. On June 26 we will take up our new appointment at St. Mary’s Community Church.

Obviously, after having been here for such a long time, there are some mixed feelings about moving on. Having said that, the timing is right and we are very excited at the prospect of a new challenge in a new community (new to us anyway). We don’t know very much about St. Mary’s, but I’m sure we’ll find out a lot about it in the next few weeks.

There have been a lot of good times here in Elliot Lake, as well as some challenging ones. Our son was born here and we’ve watched our children grow up to be teenagers.There was also the excitement of opening our new building downtown in May 2009 and the fresh opportunities that brought. The biggest challenges for us have come in the past three years, especially with the aftermath of the mall collapse in June 2012. Some of these challenges have been draining and we believe that things will benefit from the fresh perspective that our successors will be able to bring to the community.

Over the past few months there have been some unfounded rumours about us leaving and the Army being closed down here. These have mainly been by people who don’t have a great understanding of how things work in our organization. As a lot of what was being said was second or third-hand gossip it was very difficult to deal with. The truth is that things will continue to operate after we leave here. There are no plans to close anything down and, in fact, the new people may see some different opportunities to expand upon some of the foundations that are already here.

The next few weeks will be busy, as we work through fourteen years of accumulation and pack up our belongings. The worst part may be packing up all the books we have gathered. I did cull a few in the past few months, but I find it really difficult to part with them.

I’ll post some updates as things progress, or if we find out more that we can share about St. Mary’s. Until then, if it is your thing, a few prayers for a smooth transition would be really helpful.

Teaser Tuesdays – Practicing the Way of Jesus (April 21)

teasertuesdays2014eTeaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my teasers for this week:

practicing the way of jesusWe learn and grow as much from our failures as from our successes. Failure and mistakes are part of training to do something new.

From page 80 of Practicing the Way of Jesus: Life Together in the Kingdom of Love by Mark Scandrette.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth (April 17)

an astronauts guide to lifeon earthFor my Friday meme combo this week I have chosen a book I picked up today at my favourite second-hand bookstore, Bearly Used Books in Parry Sound. The book is Chris Hadfield’s An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. I’ve been meaning to look for this for a while and the price was right today. GoodReads has the following description:

Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, and been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft. The secret to Col. Hadfield’s success-and survival-is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst-and enjoy every moment of it.

In An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, Col. Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement-and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don’t visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff.

You might never be able to build a robot, pilot a spacecraft, make a music video or perform basic surgery in zero gravity like Col. Hadfield. But his vivid and refreshing insights will teach you how to think like an astronaut, and will change, completely, the way you view life on Earth-especially your own.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

book beginningsBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth:

The windows of a spaceship casually frame miracles. Every 92 minutes, another sunrise: a layer cake that starts orange, then a thick wedge of blue, then the richest, darkest icing decorated with stars.

Chris Hadfield has lived the kind of life most of us could only dream of, so I’m glad he’s written this book to share some of that with us. I like this beginning and I’m looking forward to reading this one soon.

The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.Friday 56
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth:

Finally everyone agreed that it had been a false alarm, and we headed back to our sleep stations. An hour later, when the fire alarm sounded again, we repeated the warn, gather, work protocol just as before.

I guess that any kind of alarm when you’re way out in space would be quite unnerving, but I guess he survived and lived to tell the tale! Hopefully I’ll get around to reading this one soon. I don’t want it sitting on my ever-growing TBR pile for ever.

Booking Through Thursday – Unread (April 16)

btt2This week Booking Through Thursday poses the following question:

What proportion of the books you own are unread?

Between my physical books and e-books I probably own at least 1,700 books. Keeping this figure in mind, there are probably about half of them that I haven’t fully read. There are some that may never get read from cover to cover, but those are ones that I have for reference, such as commentaries, dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc. For some of my favourite authors or writers I like to buy everything they have written, with the hope that some day I may get round to reading them. I read in excess of 80 books a year, but I also buy a fair number, so there are some books that I may never get around to reading. I’m okay with that, but I’m not sure how my wife feels about it! As far as I’m concerned, there are worse things I could be spending money on :)

Top Ten Tuesday – Inspirational Quotes (April 14)

TTT3WTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a different topic is posted inviting the participants to come up with a list of ten things to do with the topic.

This week’s topic is: ‘Top Ten Inspiring Quotes from Books (anything that inspires you, challenges you, makes you think, encourages you, etc.)’ I’m not always the best at remembering quotes from things I’ve read unless I write them down right away, but I’m sure I’ll manage to come up with ten that have inspired me over the years.

1. “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” (J.R.R. Tolkien in The Hobbit)

2. “Herein lies the most solemn challenge facing Christians who want to communicate their faith: if we do not live in a way that draws others to the faith rather than repels them, none of our words will matter.” (Philip Yancey in Vanishing Grace: Whatever Happened to the Good News?)

3. “Questions are not scary. What is scary is when people don’t have any. What is tragic is faith that has no room for them.” (Rob Bell in Velvet Elvis)

4. “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.'” (C.S. Lewis in The Great Divorce)

5. “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956)

6. “What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore it knows it’s not fooling a soul.” (Neil Gaiman in American Gods)

7. “Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back. You’re done. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to have lunch with the person. If you keep hitting back, you stay trapped in the nightmare…” (Anne Lamott in Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith)

8. “A spiritual life without prayer is like the gospel without Christ.” (Henri Nouwen in Reaching Out)

9. “No matter how hard you try to be what you once were, you can only be what you are here and now.” (Ray Bradbury in Dandelion Wine)

10. “Stop trying to impress people with your clothes and impress them with your life.” (Richard J. Foster in Celebration of Discipline)