Friday, 28 May 2021

Bookworm: Who, me?


Wow! I think that has got to be some kind of personal record!

These two Ted Dekker books were only just delivered last Friday afternoon. By the following Thursday evening, I had them both read.

2 books

800 pages

7 days

Bookworm: Who, me? Apparently.

The 49th Mystic and Rise of the Mystics were definitely enjoyable reads. Quite possibly, in my opinion, they’re among Dekker’s finest of those I’ve read thus far. I would, however, recommend his Circle Series before delving into these two. You’ll be glad you did.

Happy reading. 😊

Saturday, 15 May 2021

The New Tenant

After a recent trip out of town, we came home to find a new robin’s nest in the lilac beside our deck. Though we saw momma in the nest a few times, we tried our best to give her lots of space and not to spook her too much. Today while momma left to get groceries, or whatever they leave the nest to do, I carefully snuck up for a little closer look.

How exciting. Our tenant is going to have a new baby.


Friday, 14 May 2021

End of An Era, End of An Addiction?

Well I finally did it; I reduced my social media footprint a little further. While there were once three Facebook pages that I managed, as of today there are none. My personal Facebook page remains, but the main reason it does is to be able to continue to communicate with distant family via Messenger. Oh, my Twitter account also remains but only for the purpose of following a few local sites. All other social media platforms that I once maintained have also long since been deactivated, and all this was preceded by my decision to also remove social media apps from my smartphone. 

Why? I’m glad you asked. 😉

Social media had become an addiction. I found myself wasting away valuable time mindlessly scrolling through mostly junk. Sure, there were wholesome posts too, such as photos of family and friends, but it was too easy for me to get caught up in all the unwholesome stuff. Conspiracy theories abound. Political and religious arguments were never in short supply. Combined with a host of other trash, all contributed in robbing me of my personal peace. The more mindless crap I scrolled through, the more time I’d waste doing nothing of value, and the cycle would repeat itself ... again, and again, and again. Yes, social media had become an addiction. Enough was enough!

My two blogs remain, though the Rethinking Faith and Church blog is now mostly dormant. I suppose the time of rethinking since leaving the pastoral ministry twenty years ago is also finally over. Though this wrestling season seems over, I realize that may change one day if the Lord so wills it. Still, its posts remain for those who stumble upon them. The Other Side of Will will continue to be the platform for all random musings, such as this one. I suppose you could say it is my online journal.

So here’s to the end of an era and the end of an addiction. Here’s to having more time to spend in my library enjoying a plethora of good books. Here’s to unplugging from the rat race and finding time for things that really matter. Here’s to reclaiming my personal peace.

A final word about the photo:

This little fellow resides in our sanctuary, our beautiful backyard deck, under a gorgeous huge lilac. I believe that he too has unplugged from social media and seems to have found his personal peace as well. 😊

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

The Other Side of Essential Travel?

In December 2020 I travelled to visit my parents. Given that we live so far apart, I normally try to do that trip at least twice per year. I remember how the Covid pandemic resulted in all my flights being at least two-thirds empty. It was strangely eerie!

Now, five months later, we just came back from an encore trip. This time, however, the flights all had relatively few empty seats. In fact, they were virtually full. Other than the compulsory masking requirements, you really wouldn’t know there was a pandemic at all. With all the talk of essential travel only, and random check stops at provincial border crossings for road travellers, air travel was pretty much business as usual. Interesting.

This raised a few musings as to the subjectivity of exactly what constitutes essential travel. The term is really in the eyes of the beholder. While many no doubt questioned our decision to travel at this time, in our way of thinking, it was essential that we did so. Having said that, I don’t mention this as a means to justify our decision (it matters not what others think) but rather, as I already said, to show how each family alone decides what is essential to them. Governments cannot possibly say what is or isn’t. It is all subjective. Based upon the full aircrafts, it would seem that my co-travellers would agree. Still, it would have been rather entertaining if that cat, essential travelling with its grumpy owner, had managed to escape. 😉

Finally, on the lighter side, on one flight we were quite amused with the signage we saw on one of the wings: No Step Outside This Area. We laughed as we noticed that no travellers had stepped outside that area, at least none that we observed. Perhaps this calls for kudos to our educational system as apparently everyone could read (Ha-Ha). 😉


In the first two pictures above you can make out Toronto’s CN Tower on the horizon as we descended for a short layover before catching our final flight west (to the Promised Land, as our son had said in jest). 😆

Saturday, 8 May 2021

The Swimsuit and Memories of Yesteryear

“Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream.”
Khalil Gibran

While visiting my parents recently, they pointed out that they had cleared out a drawer of old swimsuits and were wondering if we wanted any of them. They were kept around over the years in case visitors to their home wished to go swimming in their beautiful indoor pool and did not happen to have a swimsuit with them. Though the standing joke was that swimsuits were optional, I am not aware of any guests choosing that option. I guess that’s just as well.

We looked through the collection and nothing really jumped out, at least not on first inspection. A little later in the visit we gathered as a family to view some old 8mm family movies that one of my brothers had digitized. There were wonderful childhood memories going back a half-century and more.

Suddenly, while seeing my younger self enjoying various water sports, my mouth fell open and my mind froze. Did I see that right? I was soon back among the pile of old swimsuits. Could it be? Yes, it is! 50-years have come and gone since some of those great memories, and I just found my old swimsuit! Let me say that again; 50-years! Other than being a little faded, it is still in really good shape. I still can’t believe it! Maybe this swimsuit belongs in a museum.

Now if only I could still fit into it, that would truly be a miracle. (Ha-Ha)


Thursday, 6 May 2021

What Is Your Life?

While sitting in my parent’s living room overlooking their balcony and the Ottawa River early one morning, house quiet except for that incessant ringing in my ears, I was struck again with the brevity of life. As the morning mist rose off the river, blocking the view of the Gatineau Hills of Quebec on the opposite shore, I was reminded of how short life really is. Suddenly that question in James came to the forefront, “What is your life?”

No doubt we’ve all heard some variety of that somber saying, “the older we get the faster life goes,” but it has never really struck me as frequently as it has since finding myself north of sixty. If I see my seventies, perhaps it will get worse yet.

While I believe that to be true, and while it is easy to dwell on perceived shortcomings and should-have’s, I am preferring rather to try and come at this thing called life from a different angle. Good or bad, the past is the past. “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending” (attributed to C.S. Lewis). Maybe that’s the better way to look at these things.

Yes, James was right; life is “a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” Still, that fact doesn’t have to be a downer; it can also be a celebration. For people of faith there is also a blessed eternal hope that transcends this mist called life. So here’s to today. I hope you can take some time to celebrate your mist. Cheers!

“Every moment is a fresh beginning.”
T.S. Eliot

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Do You Really Need A New Book?

it is never
considered hoarding,
if it involves obtaining
more books.

You’re welcome.

Source: Unknown