Thursday, June 17, 2010

Acquiring Righteousness and Finding Purpose


I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish, in order that I may win Christ, and that I may be found and known as in Him, not having any self-achieved righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law’s demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God), but possessing that genuine righteousness which comes through faith in Christ—the truly right standing with God, which comes from God by faith.


For my determined purpose is that I may know Him—that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly—and that I may in that same way come to know the power flowing from His resurrection and

(*personal note: I don’t comprehend this next bit)

that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed in spirit into His likeness even to His death in the hope that if possible I may attain to the spiritual and moral resurrection that lifts me out from among the dead—even while in the body.


Not that I have now attained this ideal, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of and make my own that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of me and made me His own.

I do not consider that I have captured and made it my own yet, but it is my aspiration. Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the supreme prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

Philippians 3:8b-14 (paraphrased from the Amplified Bible).

Monday, June 14, 2010

Launching a Speaking Career

I’ve been told that public speakers who are authors do quite well at selling books even if a book is rather inferior. Of course if a book is inferior, the people feel cheated, which is not a good outcome.

But, since according to the reviews (here and here and here), my book Blooming is not the inferior kind, I came to the conclusion that if I became a public speaker more people would find themselves enjoying my book.

So, about two years ago, I joined Steeltown Toastmasters. I learned to make speeches. Two years in a row I came home with best speaker awards. In 2009 I received the 'Steeltown Newcomer of the Year' and the 'Steeltown Speaker of the Year'. In 2010 they voted me 'Best Non Dramatic Speaker' as opposed to 'Best Dramatic Speaker' which was taken by the fellow who took on the role of whoever he was speaking about. He became the cancer patient who had lost his wife to cancer. He was Martin Luther King. He did an awesome impersonation of a southern judge.

I merely spoke as myself—which according to my late mother is enough melodrama, thank you very much.

I feel like I’ve graduated. And, right on schedule, the speaking engagements are flowing in.

This past weekend I had the privilege of reading bedtime stories (from Blooming) to the women at The Ladies Discovery Group retreat for women held at the Five Oaks Retreat Centre in Paris, Ontario. A totally enjoyable conference on Beautiful Feet—lots of solid teaching, a foot massage, Zumba dancing and I even sold some books.

I’ve also been invited to be the parent speaker at my daughter’s grade-eight graduation next week. I don’t think the graduates will be interested in hearing about my book, but maybe I can inspire them to become authors—or salespeople, or both.

Then in August I’m scheduled to do a sermon at church. The pastor and most of the men are planning to be away at a weekend retreat. I won’t be flogging my book, but speaking is speaking. I’ll have to ask the Lord what to say.

And in September there’s a possibility I’ll be speaking to a ladies group at a Baptist Church.

God is good.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Our Cat—From Dog to Prairie Dog

Our cat’s personality has changed. She used to race to all corners of the house chasing after her little bell ball. She would proudly pick up the ball with her teeth and trot it back to whoever tossed it.

Then we had her de-clawed.

That was about three months ago. Since then she has become a very careful cat. She always protects her paws. She sleeps more and stands around like a little gopher. She rarely looks at the bell ball.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bowl of Peaches

I came away from our church leadership meeting wondering about my contribution in the body of Christ. What am I doing with my gifts? What am I doing as the hands of feet of the Lord? What is my contribution?

I pray for people—when it occurs to me. I mostly let other people do what they like to do, without interfering or helping—unless asked.

I take my turn in the toddler’s nursery. I take my turn making coffee. I join in worship. I listen to the message. I’m available to pray for people if they want prayer.

I have faith. I truly believe God answers our prayers. I believe He heals people.

I’m inclined to encourage people.

The morning after the church leadership meeting I woke up with a picture in my head. I saw a punch bowl filled with cut-up peaches. The bowl sat in the centre of a long table covered with a white table cloth and up on a stage.

There were no other dishes on the table.

There were no chairs around the table.

Instead of a ladle, there was a paint brush—the kind you would use to paint a house—in the bowl with the peaches.

Does the picture I saw have anything to do with the church leadership meeting?


Monday, June 7, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

My Son-in-Law Will Sell Me His Grain Elevator—$1

Saskatoon 055Saskatchewan is synonymous with grain elevators. Steve and Angela have a grain elevator of their very own right on their property.

You can climb up inside and look out for miles around. On the prairie this isn’t really necessary because if you’re not behind a bush or a building, you can look out for miles around anyway. According to Steve the grain elevator is just a place for rats to live.

I told him it was a landmark. There aren’t as many grain elevators in Saskatchewan as there used to be. The grain elevator is a great way to find his farm. He laughed. According to him prairie people don’t need such obvious landmarks. I think they count roads or look at stone piles.

So he’ll sell me the grain elevator for one dollar, provided I fix it up for about 36 thousand dollars (for insurance purposes).

I’ll have to speak to my accountant.