July 2008


Well, my wonderful wife, Toree is going under the knife Tuesday morning.  A whirlwind of events have brought us to this moment.

About 2 months ago, Toree had a sinus infection, she went to her general practitioner doctor.  The doctor felt her thyroid and ‘thought’ it felt enlarged.  She recommended that Toree get an ultrasound on her thyroid.  Well the ultrasound came back with a result of a .9mm tumor(or nodule which is a much better word) in the right lobe of her thyroid.

She then had it biopsied and the results determined that the nodule is a follicular neoplasm.  These can be benign or cancerous.  The unfortunate thing is that they cannot be determined if it are cancerous or benign without removing it and dissecting the nodule.

A couple of hopeful things.  There is an 80% chance that the tumor is benign.  The nodule is very small and if cancerous has good treatment options.  But surgery is scary and the potential cancer is scary. Especially since both Toree’s parents have died from colon cancer.

We are praying that the nodule is benign, this way the other side of her thyroid can provide enough thyroid for her not to have to go on any medication.

So she goes into surgery at 9am on Tuesday morning.  Your prayers are appreciated.  The Lord has done much in Toree’s heart to prepare her for the surgery.  She is feeling protected in her Father’s loving care and taking every moment as being sacred.

I will keep you updated on the results which we will receive in a few days after the surgery.

Yes I admit it, the Espy Awards make me cry.  No it was not Justin Timberlake that made me want to cry. (although he was hilarious and was killing it with all his jokes and antics).  It is those doggone year in sports montages.  Something about the music, the memories, the magic that gets all rolled into one.  But I recognize that when the triumphal music combines with the images of victory and anguish, pain and grit, yearning and realization, that something happens deep inside of me.  Something in me is awoken.  Something in me is stirred.  I feel like I am being turned inside out.  My inner longings are being met.  And I realized this, that those moments are about…

dreams.

dreams being fulfilled.

dreams being lived.

And that wrecks me.  It conjures up all sorts of hopes and dreams that lie in me, some dreams that are dormant, some dreams that have been crushed and some that are blossoming into new life.

These images cause me to want to dream again.  To dream farther, to dream deeper, to dream dangerously, in the hope that one day my dream will become a reality.

Cause without our dreams what are we?  Skin jobs who fulfill the duties of the lives that we are given.  Dreams say I will live beyond my means today and make life meaningful.

So the question is what is your dream?  What is my dream?

And what are we doing about it?

A modern tale of two cities…

New York and Seattle.

First let’s start with the New York Yankees.  Likely one of the prestigious sport franchises in the world.  You either love the Yankees or you hate the Yankees.  But one thing the Yankees do is evoke emotion.  Yankee stadium has come to be known by various nicknames.

The House That Ruth Built,

The Stadium,

The Big Ballpark in the Bronx,

The Cathedral of Baseball.

Now, I have never been to Yankee stadium, but if the ghost of Babe Ruth is to be believed, it is a place where magic happens.  That is why everyone is trying to get a piece of the magic.  Who wouldn’t want an actual piece of Yankee stadium.  Whether it be a bleacher, home plate, or even a plain piece of Yankee stadium concrete, it would represent something, something of history, something that can never be recreated.

Yet in the midst of all of the magic and the memories, there are plans to tear it down.  Because secular society gets something.

In spite of the memories, to create new memories, the old place must be torn down.

A new space must be recreated for new memories, for new magic.

Now we have Seattle, to be specific the Seattle Super Sonics.  Now by no means do the SuperSonics have the history, the memories or the magic of the Yankees, but if you know anything of the current events of the only basketball franchise the greater Seattle area, is that the franchise is moving Oklahoma City.  The Seattle SuperSonics will be no more, no more chances for memories or any potential magic, cause they are gone.

All because they did not want to build a new stadium.  Let’s call it the Seattle Syndrome.  But the franchise cannot succeed in the city without a new stadium, without a new structure.

The franchise will collapse if a new stadium is not created.

Call it whatever you want, formal Christianity, organized religion or just they way humans are wired.  We tend to want to hold onto the structures where our memories were formed.  If Christianity were the Yankee Stadium we do every possible renovation and recreation to the original stadium to make things work.  But we would never tear it down.

Some would argue, “If we torn down the structures and systems of our past what would hold up the life of future?”

But we forget one very important thing.  Structures and systems only exist to hold life. Life is what matters! The stadium only is the container for baseball.  No one goes to an empty stadium.  We go to a stadium to watch baseball!

And that is what corporate America gets that we as Christians tend to forget.

Structures only exist as they increase life.  There are times when those structure impede life and actually bring death.

Next season the Yankees will be playing and the Seattle Super Sonics won’t be.  Both places had things torn down; one had the shell torn down to continue life, one had the life torn down because they did not want a new shell.

Go Yankees!

“Gabriel, I just am overwhelmed by all the complaints. Ever since the rapture, our angelic complaint department has been over run. Even though John 14 is not talking about mansions in heaven, when the crowd of newest heaven arrivals found that out there were no mansions for them there was almost rebellion.

We heard it all…

“We were promised our own, individual mansions. I won’t leave until I get what I was promised. I’ve worked hard on that their earth. Do you need to go to the records office to examine my record. Do you know that I gave 10% of everything I owned to fund this project.”

So we made everyone individual mansions.

Funny thing is that almost everyone felt that their mansion was underbuilt. Those humans have this strange thought that their works would translate into the size of their mansion. One person even said, “If I knew this I sure wouldn’t have done all of those things on earth.” Another person said, “In capitalism, you get what you earn, you work hard you get more.”

Then the cries for fences came…

This is what one person said, “How do I know where my mansion land begins and ends? Remember I’ve worked hard to earn this. Having this is my right. I am just protecting what is mine.”

But Gabriel, what has really gotten my goat is the building requests for intercom systems. There are some people who are getting tried of the endless singing and giving glory. Some people are just complaining of being exhausted. One lady asked me, “When do I get time for me? When do I get to enjoy my mansion?” So thus the requests for the intercom and speaker systems and that way people can attend to their own wants and still be involved.

Funny thing Gabriel, I have not heard a peep from that group who robes where red with blood when they got here. We gave them new white robes and they bolted to the throne and I have not heard one thing from them since.

(the above is a satire on the absurdity of some of our popular views of heaven and how many of them reflect our culture and our thoughts rather than heaven’s culture and heaven’s thoughts)

I just travelled through the Canadian Rockies and I forgot how majestic and magnificient they are.  They truly are a reminder to the glory and goodness of God.

Just before the trip I shared a campfire with Peter Illyn, from Restoring Eden, and he shared his passion of God’s good earth.  Peter is a rugged, funny and  a straight shooter.  He shared his simple love and care for God’s good earth.  I was astounded at the care he had for God’s creation.  His sharing was simple.

God’s creation is a good creation.

We are stewards of a good creation.

We should be good stewards, not ignorant ones.

The above cartoon makes light of many evangelical views of creation and environmentalism.  Funny thing is that one of God’s first commandments to Adam was to take care of the earth.  After my trip to Banff and Lake Louise, I am reminded of the goodness of God’s creation and the wonder of the creator.

(and yes my eyes are closed, but I could not pass up the great picture)

Although I am a dual citizen this is a shout out to all the cool Canadian things…  Some of which only true Canadians will understand.

So, what do Canadians have to be proud of?

1. Smarties.

2. Crispy Crunch, Coffee Crisp.

3. The size of our footballs fields and one less down.

4. Baseball is Canadian.

5. Lacrosse is Canadian.

6. Hockey is Canadian.

7. Basketball is Canadian.

8. Apple pie is Canadian.

9. Mr. Dress-up coulda kicked Mr. Rogers butt.

10. Tim Hortons kicks Dunkin’ Donuts butt.

11. In the war of 1812, started by America, Canadians pushed the Americans back…past their ‘White House’. Then we burned it…and most of Washington, under the command of William Lyon McKenzie who was insane and hammered all the time. We got bored because they ran away, so we came home and partied…Go figure..

12. Canada has the largest French population that never surrendered to Germany.

13. We have the largest English population that never ever surrendered or withdrew during any war to anyone, anywhere.

14. Our civil war was a bar fight that lasted a little over an hour.

15. The only person who was arrested in our civil war was an American mercenary, who slept in and missed the whole thing… but showed up just in time to get caught.

16. We knew plaid was cool far before Seattle caught on.

17. The Hudsons Bay Company once owned over 10% of the earth’s surface and is still around as the worlds oldest company.

18. The average dog sled team can kill and devour a full grown human in under 3 minutes.

19. We still know what to do with all the parts of a buffalo. (Ever heard of prairie oysters?)

20. We don’t marry our kin-folk.

21. We invented ski-doos, jet-skis, velcro, zippers, insulin, zambonis, the telephone and short wave radios that save countless lives each year.

22. We ALL have frozen our tongues to something metal and lived to tell about it.

23. A Canadian invented Superman.

BUT MOST IMPORTANT!

24. The handles on our beer cases are big enough to fit your hands with mitts on. OOOoohhhhh Canada!!

Oh yeah… and our elections only take one day.

Happy Canada Day!