Sunday, December 31, 2006

Don't even bother reading this. Really, it's not worth it.

While looking over my last few posts, I noticed that I've had to edit a few of them. Something must be wrong if I have to do that all the time. Perhaps I say too many things I shouldn't.


Several weeks ago I was talking to someone at work about a certain movie that gives Jesus a personality. And I don't mean all those old movies where He always looks like the cross is hanging over Him...like a wet blanket. I don't think He was like that at all...and yet, I don't really know what I think He was. I can't get past the part about Him being God. In my mind He’s holy, perfect, solemn, and untouchable. Closer than Allah, but still not…I don’t know. For example, I hear people talking about God liking to be asked or wanting us to tell Him what we feel, what we need, etc. But I think about how frustrated I get with 6 little kids (or even just one or two) demanding my attention and needing my help. Give me a break! I’m selfish and I want to do my own thing un-interrupted for a couple of hours. And if I just saw you do something, I don’t want you to replay it for me, even if it WAS funny. So how can I believe that God wants that? I suppose the key would be in SELFISH. I am. God’s not. See? Even in this post I can’t get past Jesus being God. Shut up, Layne. You’re babbling and no one cares anyway.


SO, happy new year to you all. I’ll go now.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Taming of the Shrew

I found the most hillarious version of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew at the library the other day. It's a stage production on film done by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation...sooooooooooo funny! My sister and I have been laughing our heads off tonight. Some brilliant acting, in my opinion.

Incase you didn't know...and some people don't...I LOVE Shakespeare's comedies. And this is one of my absolute favorites.

Monday, December 11, 2006

...and their "new" grandkid


Grandpa, Grandma, and some grandkids


Grandpa, Grandma, Dad, Danaka, and Mitch


Grandpa Johnson and Grandma Schindel


That day

"My first sight of Grandpa made me cry. He lay in the hospital bed that had been moved into his and Grandma's bedroom. The blanket was pulled up under his chin and all you could see was his head. All the hollows were sunken in and his skin was very yellow. He smiled a little when he saw me, and I leaned over and gave him a hug. I felt like I might break him, he was so fragile....I knelt down beside the bed and told Grandpa about my week of hanging out with homeless people and giving roses to prostitutes. As I talked his eyes kept closing. I think he dozed of and I left the room. I sat on a chair in Grandma's livingroom and cried hard....The last time I went in was just before we left. I leaned over and kissed his forehead and told him I loved him. "I love you." he said in a strained voice hardly louder than a whisper....

"Sunday afternoon [Dec 11] I went with Hillary, Jill, Jana, Eunie, Melissa, and Andrew to UBC. We just walked around exploring. After we'd been there for a while (it was about 4:40) Hillary's cell rang. I was just about to run around an indian longhouse when Hillary said the phone was for me. Everyone got very quiet...When I got off the phone I found myself in a big bear hug in Hillary's arms. I was very soon hugged from behind by several other people..."


Edit: I wasn't/am not particularly sad or anything. I wanted to edit this post and say that earlier, but the power has been out at my house and I haven't had access to the internet.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Newsflash: Baby Brother Carried Off by Rogue Eagles!

So, a few months ago I was telling a girl at work about my family. Then I got talking about my cat, Charlie Chaplin. I was telling her about how we moved into a particular house and shortly after had to move out because it was flooded, and no one was around the house much, and I didn't think Charlie had really settled in and One Day we discovered that no one had seen him for a while. Haley looked so concerned at this point in the story, and knowing that she likes animals, I figured she was worried about where the story was going. So of course the...morbid side of me perhaps?...went on to tell her that we've never seen him since, and always just figured he was dead...maybe an eagle carried him off or a car hit him.

Haley stared at me with HUGE expressive eyes. "You have NO IDEA how your brother died?"

Sunday, November 26, 2006

...happy birthday.

I think I've learned a lot this past year about life. A constantly recurring theme is "people need someone to listen to them." I've seen it in my friends in DTS who wouldn't seem to let me get a word in the conversation unless I raised my hand (I can be very quiet at times)[Edit: I'm really not trying to make anyone feel bad. It only happened in group settings, not one-on-one talks.], the people I met on the street who had life-stories they wanted to share, my co-workers, and the counceling course I took at the Crisis Pregnancy Center. I'm a person and I need to be heard, but when I talk I've begun to take more notice of the things my listener does that make me either feel heard or ignored. I'm trying to learn how to be a better listener so that even if I don't have someone to listen to me, I can still provide it for others.

Another thing I've experienced is that while religions mean something, denominations do not. Whether someone is Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist, Anglican, Catholic, or whatever, it doesn't matter. If they are a Christian then we both share basic common beliefs. The differences don't matter. They have some things right that I don't have, and the other way around, and it's not worth fighting about.

I've met a few Christian customers at work. Most of them I haven't been able to talk to much, but from the first moment of finding out we're both Christians there's a connection. And for a moment I don't feel so...adrift. It's like being lost in a huge crowd and suddenly seeing a familiar face.

I've had a pretty sheltered life. Practically everyone I've associated with has been a Christian. There's always been that connection. You say things and they know what you're talking about (or at least have some sort of idea) because you both speak christianese...things can be unsaid because you both know what's behind what you say. And even the way I've worded this paragraph...Some people are going to know what some of these things are that I'm talking about, and some won't have a clue. Another example would maybe be my plan to move to Vancouver. I tend to simplify it because not everyone gets the idea of "feeling it's where the Lord wants you." Huh? What's God got to do with it? But that's why the face doesn't have to BE familiar to FEEL familiar.

I've learned that I am capable of more than I realize. I have more to offer people than I realize. And all this 'more' is because Jesus dwells in me and works through me. So it's not really me but Him. He can do big things through me. I don't ever have to do things alone in my own weak strength.

I've learned that what you do with tragedies and bad times prepares you to help someone else through their own hard times.

I've learned that attitude problems are hard to deal with because they're slippery and don't like getting stuck in corners where you can lay your hands on them. I'm still trying to pin them down to figure out what's wrong with me.

You can't change other people. You can only change your reaction.

This next year I hope to gain a better understanding of who I am and what I have to offer the world, because Myself and I are just accquaintances. I keep surprising myself with my contradicting personality. I don't make a lot of sense. Do I have a split personality?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

snow and last days

It SNOWED today and I want to hold JM and HRMFRH responsible like I did last year, but I guess that doesn't work. Unless prayers are going up from Ohio and Vancouver for snow on the Island...which would just be mean. =P
It's NOVEMBER! NOT the month for snow. Rain, yes. Snow, no.
Last day...yikes! Look out Coming Year!
PS. Timon, if you stumble across this, I wish you a happy birthday. --Your Mortal

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!




Happy thanksgiving to all my American friends. If you're one of my friends and you're American, be assured I have been thinking about you today.
BTW, this picture is of the McCrae memorial at Eileen Donan Castle in Scotland. It lists the McCraes who died in WWI and on the bottom it says:
We are the dead, short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunsets glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The view from here

I still don’t have anything concrete yet, but things feel like maybe they’re slipping a little closer to where they should be. Maybe it’s just the realization I came to the other day. It came as quite the shock actually. I realized that I want to live in Vancouver and be involved in some sort of street ministry. I still don’t know what it will be, but the realization is that this is something that I WANT. You know, it’s been a very long time since I set my heart on something. So long that I can’t even remember when the last time was or what it was. I guess I always figured that setting your heart on anything was a sure way to be disappointed. Better to just go with the flow and make something out of whatever comes my way. It’s the reason why I’ve felt so lost since ‘graduating’. Everyone else always seemed to have something they were working towards…”I’m going to be a doctor” “I’m taking courses for nursing”…you get it. Me? I don’t want to do any of that stuff. I know what I want to do with my life, but it’s kind of not pursuable at the moment, so what do I do to fill in the time? I don’t want to collect a lot of debt on education I’m not going to use. I don’t want a career as the world sees it. But now I feel like I know what I want, I’ve let myself want it, it doesn’t seem to conflict with my long-term desire…It feels like a great leap ahead just because it’s something I WANT and not something that’s drifted by me. And more is coming. I’m starting to get an idea of how my life might look in the somewhat near future. Possibilities of things to pursue...things I never really considered before.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Today's random thought

I was thinking today that considering Jesus was Jewish, not Christian, a lot of Christians (myself most definately included) probably don't understand what Christianity is really based on. I know I spend a lot of time reading the New Testament, but I don't really understand the Old. I don't understand the culture, the practices, the significance of the different feasts and festivals and sacrifices, the rituals...a lot of which God put into place for the Jews. I think I really need to check this stuff out. Yes, Jesus came to fulfill the law and it doesn't bind us anymore and all that stuff, but it's still our foundation.

X marks the spot

Sheesh, it's started already. Next thing you know he'll be dying it blue! Actually, it's rather cute...for now. My little brother just got his hair cut and specifically asked for an X on his head. So he has one. Rauchelle left an X of longer hair. At least he won't have horns sticking out any more.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You pull an elastic band and marvel at how far it goes. SNAP! Fingers sting from the force.
Today was such a great day. Why did it have to snap back at me? Once again I just want to lash out at something...anything. To loose control just once and relieve the tension. Enjoy a big smash. This is getting to be way too common of an occurance.

"I am ready for the storm..." or not.

Keep in mind this is Vancouver Island. We don't get hurricanes, tsunamis, tornados, volcanos, or other things like that. Yes, we get big waves at times, and strong winds, and lots of rain. But the only things that blow down are trees and random toolsheds and stuff like that. My aunt and uncle's ROOF blew off and practically all their stuff got damaged in the torrential rain yesterday! The roof just lifted off and landed in their back yard. Yesterday was just plain WEIRD! Fortunately no one was hurt at all (beyond aches and pains caused by long exposure to the rain and cold).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

work, psychology and family...my day

What a weird day! On the way to work we found part of the road was flooded. Then as we approached the parking lot to the store we got re-routed to the back, so decided to park in the underground parking. An older gent met us down there and said that the power was out and the store was closing! So I ran in to see what was up (and desperately hoping it was closed for the whole day so I could go home) and was told that the store was on back-up generators but we should have power in a few hours, though it wasn't garaunteed...In other words I had to stay. Power was out for four hours and we got all the closing stuff done...everything got cleaned, food put away...and then the power came back on. Darn. So later tonight I had to do it all over again.
I told a lady at work about the volcano in my dream. She said it must be the way my subconcious translated the earthquake that hit...Japan was it? And there was a tsunami warning on the westcoast! Eight-foot wave expected. I heard later the warning was called off. What excitement though!
Side note: In general, I love my job! I just met yet another Christian in that non-denominational way where you can enjoy the family relationship without the squabbles over churches. A coffee shop is a neutral place to meet 'family'.

Surf's up!

I dreamed last night that I saw a new volcano erupt...and I was watching it with my 'new family'. Very bizarre dream, actually. Apparently one of my parents had recently gotten married (I don't know which one) to someone who had a million kids (slight exageration here, but that's probably what it would feel like if someone with 8 kids married someone else with as many or more). Two of my new sisters are girls I met at work (one of whom I don't really like). Anyway, so I and a few of my new siblings happened to see this excavation site turn into a volcano. Two of us ran away, trying to escape, while the rest went in for a closer look. I don't know what happened to them because I woke up about then...at about 6:00 in the morning. I lay there thinking about my dream when suddenly I thought I was dreaming again. That wasn't a searchlight shining for a brief moment in my room, was it? Thunder is a dead give-away.
So, now it's 9:30 am, the light show is done, but the waves are huge for this side of my island. I suspect the computor will be shut off all day because of the high winds, and lots of people will probably loose their power. Toveli was worried because she thought this storm was also down in Belize...she calmed down when we told her it wasn't and mom and dad are ok.
Yesterday I was working in the coffee shop (no more cashiering! YAY!) and a young lady came upstairs. She was the only customer there at that particular moment. She stood for a moment gazing up at the coffee menu.
"Can I get you anything?"
She stood a moment longer. *sigh* "I don't have the time for one" and she headed back down the stairs.
Ok.
Most people will decide they don't have time for a coffee BEFORE they come up.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I pulled a fish's eyeball out with my bare hands once...

Pardon my trite exclamation, but today is a BEAUTIFUL day! The sun is finally shining, and the ocean is so dark...quite the contrast between it and all the fishing boats out there. There's at least 30 boats out, at the moment. Is it herring season? I should know by now...yeah, I think it is...eggs in the spring, fish in the fall...gotta be...but there doesn't appear to be much for gulls. I heard the sealions out there this morning though. And the swans will be here soon! The ocean gets busy at this time of year. All we're missing are a pod of orcas...and all the fishermen chase me with axes and saws in protest.

Friday, November 10, 2006

NEWSFLASH:
I'm a loudmouth.

Edit: (and obnoxious...I'm an obnoxious loudmouth! Boy, the discoveries I make sometimes...)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Jinkens Up!

Tonight.
Tonight we played "Jinkens Up". And can I say just how awesome my team was? Danaka, Maret, and Farmore (Grandma Johnson) are the best team mates EVER! We had the others fooled practically the whole game.
For the un-initiated, the gist of the game is that all the players (6 or more) are split into two teams. Each team has a captain. The captain of the starting team takes a dime (or penny or small coin like that) and either keeps it themselves or gives it to a team member. Whoever gets the coin must hide it in their hand (usually squeezed between thumb and forefinger). Everyone makes a fist with their hands, and the captain from the opposite team says "Jinkens Up!" Every fist in the team with the coin must be raised for inspection by the opposing team. When they are satisfied its "Jinkens Down" and the fists must be placed on the table. More inspection by the other team to see if they can spot the coin or notice suspicious behaviour, then "Jinkens on the Table". If the coin is loose, it falls out of your hand and the other team of course knows who has the coin. If it doesn't fall, they get 2 tries to find the correct hand hiding the coin (more tries if there's lots of players).
Get everyone in the right mood, and this game can get pretty hillarious! Oh, the stupidity that comes out of a few rounds of a simple game...good times.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

politics

A couple of ladies came through my till tonight and were reading the headlines of the gossip magazines. One said that Laura Bush was filing for divorce. The grocery boy who was bagging groceries for me made some derogatory comment about President Bush, and it got me thinking, yet againg, about how we talk about our government. Has anyone noticed, or is it just me, that nobody seems to have ANYTHING good to say about anyone in government? Whether George Bush, Stephen Harper, or anyone else. It seems to me that a person can be considered a great guy, but AS SOON as he is elected, he's a "jerk", a "crook", and other things I'd rather not mention. I admit I don't follow politics as much as I should, and I don't know all that is going on, but can't anyone cut these guys a little slack? They are human and mess up just like the rest of us, but they get some things right too. How well would most of us do as prime minister or president for a week? I think that both these guys are trying their hardest to do what they think is best for their countries. I also think that if we are too quick to tear our government apart instead of trying to support them, we will get to the point where it's only the power-hungry who don't care what people think who will be running for office.

Hopeful Customer

The gentleman stood there, looking down at the keypad, waiting for his debit transaction to go through. With a straight face and serious voice, he read "Please wait while the cashier gets a coffee and doughnut of your choice for your pleasure." He looked up hopefully...
The nasty cashier that I am, I smiled and shook my head. Sorry.

Rule of Life #4

The elevator moves faster if you actually press the button.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

FIRE!

As one person asked me yesterday, "How many fires can one small town take?" I don't know. Have we recovered from the second one yet? How long will it take us to recover from yesterday's? Let's see...
I wish I could have seen it though. I've missed them all. Arrived in town 2 weeks after the first and most spectacular one. I've been told the day the grocery store burned down (I currently work in the new one, and let me tell you, they are paranoid of fires now!) the whole town cried!
On another note, Rauchelle informs me that Mom and Dad saw a crocodile yesterday from their hotel room...or wherever they were staying. It disappeared into the bush before Dad could get down there to take it's picture, and he wasn't too keen on hunting it up in there. And with Amy riding elephants in Thailand...I think FINALLY the travel bug is biting me. Maybe I'll go rope me a grizzly so I don't feel left out. =D
I'm reading Education of a Wandering Man by Louis L'Amour at the moment. Very interesting book...right down my alley. Even some of you non-L'Amour fans or out-right anti-L'Amour people should read it. It is NOT a western...nor is it even a work of fiction. It's a memior. About how education is NOT restricted to the schoolroom, and that sometimes school is the restriction. I promise, on my honour, not to rant here. I'll just state that my personal opinion is that school is highly over-rated, though not totally without use. But back to the book...he talks about his travels, the people he met and what he learned from them, how he got interested in certain things (like boxing), the books he read and how he came across them and how they changed him, the jobs he held...a little random and rambling, and so far wholey to my taste.
hmmm...I'm never quite sure how honest to be on here...how much to say and left unsaid...what things are worth saying...what things just make everthing worse. Thus the vagueness of the lies and the wall (which are connected btw. The lies are the foundation of the wall). But I want to appologize to any and all of my friends who have at any time been hurt by my skeptical view of the nice things you've done for me or said to me (and especially to the person who threatens to hit me with their shoe...I'm not scared of it, but I'm sorry), or felt pushed away with no idea why. I can't say why I do it...I don't want to, and I don't know why it happens but it does. I love you all...and I want you to know, though I'm not sure how many friends actually READ this stuff. Anyway, I'm trying to work through it all...have patience? =S I'm an over-dramatic emotional mess right now. So I'll quit talking right now...it'll only get worse.
Goodnight!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Attack of the appliance box (aka 'randomness')

So, nothing spectacular happened today. Nothing great popped into my head. Nothing I read stood out to me. Most of today at work I was frustrated for some reason...I felt like I COULD pick a fight or lay into someone...didn't though. And I got attacked by a CuisinArt cookware box in the back...have a nice cut on my chin to show for the tussel. Yes, it fell from above and landed on my face! And yet, despite all that, today really doesn't feel like it was THAT bad. Maybe it's because I remind myself that I'm not the one who attended a funeral today, or found out that someone they loved died a few days ago. There were definately several people at work who had more reason than I to have a bad day.

And I get the next two days off!!! Life is pretty good after all.

BTW, I made these REALLY good cookies yesterday...can't get a whole lot more chocolate-y than these. They didn't turn out quite right for me (supposed to melt in your mouth), but they were still good, and when they turn out right they are AWESOME! Check out the recipe
here.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Lies

How do you stop believing those lies that are so firmly ingrained in you? The ones that are the foundation of the wall. I can't get out. You can't get in. Something needs to change.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Perfection and Belize

"If you give [God] an inch, He will take an ell....That is why He warned people to 'count the cost' before becoming Christians. 'Make no mistake,' He says, 'if you let me, I will make you perfect. The moment you put yourself in My hands, that is what you are in for. Nothing less, or other, than that. You have free will, and if you choose, you can push Me away. But if you do not push Me away, understand that I am going to see this job through. Whatever suffering it may cost you in your earthly life, whatever inconceivable purification it may cost you after death, whatever it costs Me, I will never rest, nor let you rest, until you are literally perfect--until my Father can say without reservation that He is well pleased with you, as He said He was well pleased with me. This I can do and will do. But I will not do anything less.'" --'Mere Christianity' by C.S. Lewis
Doesn't that just fill you with hope? No matter how frustrated you get with your failings, no matter how much you want to give up on yourself, Jesus never will. He can't. When you're His, you're HIS for KEEPS, and He will never stop making you perfect until you are.
So, today went pretty well. I've been up since 5 am (VERY early for me) to say goodbye to Dad, Mom, and Andy-boy. They're in Seattle right now, and fly to BELIZE tomorrow! Three very important weeks to follow. Man, I can't believe they're going to be gone that long. And to be honest, I'm kinda scared. I mean, I've talked about them going, and I've talked about them moving and about me moving to Vancouver, but this sudden realization that all this is more than talk is suddenly rather frightening. But if God's in it, it will all be for the good.

Friday, October 27, 2006

BORING!

Like anyone is interested...just wanted to say my shirt turned out GREAT! Once again it is my favorite!
I watched The Return of the King today. How can I describe just how great Samwise Gamgee is? He beats them all black and blue.

dye dye DYE

All I can say is...wow. What a hard class today! But I've been assured that today was the hardest. Topic? Abortion. The main methods and what part of the pregnancy they are performed in. It was very hard stuff to listen to. Fortunately they didn't go into too much detail...just enough so you know what's going on. And then all this brought up other things...I got a little teary-eyed a few times. Especially when the lady who teaches the course talked about her first miscarriage...and made me think of Nicky and Adam...
I suppose I should tell what all this is about. I haven't really told anybody. I'm taking a peer counceling course at the Crisis Pregnancy Center in town. Class runs from 9-12 on Friday mornings. I don't know that this is what I want to do, but I thought it would be a good course to take, all things considered.
So, a much lighter note: FINALLY, after what? almost 9 months? I am going to dye an old shirt. At the moment it looks tie-dyed after spending the night in a sink full of bleach. It was SUPPOSED to end up totally white, but only a little of it worked. So I bought some dye remover and teal dye. Any Morocscotlanders out there? Remember my blue shirt? It won't be blue anymore. And unless I'm misspelling the word, I think 'dye' is one of the stupidest spellings out there.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A hole in the wall

So, tonight I finished the whole beating myself up for being a jerk, repenting of what I've done, and have started to try and mend a couple of relationship bridges...or tear the wall down...something like that. And yet again I've seen how God is good. I was reading Psalm 51 tonight and journaling through my thoughts and feelings and got a bit of the beating written down. But God moved things along and showed me some stuff.

"Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me--now let me rejoice...Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me...Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you."

I need the joy of the Lord in my life right now. I internalize things so much...too much...especially my own failings, and then I fall into a depression of sorts. But I am a child of the King. His children are not to live their lives in sadness, but are to glory in what He has done for them, take joy in what He has made, who He is, and what He is doing. It is a great honour to be part of His family. We do not just happen to be part of it. He CHOOSES us. [a realization hits home finally] He chose me. He delights in me. He wants me to live in joy. He will give me joy!

"God decided in advance to adopt [me] into His family by bringing [me] to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure." --Ephesians 1:5

"Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you."


My Jesus, You are so WONDERFUL! I can sing of your forgiveness because You have forgiven me. I can sing of Your love because I know it. Unseal my lips, Lord. Let me praise You! You are great and mighty, yet overflowing with compassion. And you love idiot jerks like me, even when we hurt You and hurt Your children and are utterly unlikable. Thank you, father, for loving my unlovableness. For not passing me up but taking the time to convict me and show me what needs to change and how to start.

Monday, October 23, 2006

airhead

I wish I could capture things with a camera as I see them. But it doesn't quite work that way. I mean, when I think about it, I rarely ever see 'reality'...what's there in front of me. Either I see things and my mind is elsewhere (thereby attempting to make use of my VERY poor short-term memory), or when I SEE things, my imagination is engaged and I don't really see them as they are. I see behind things, like a story. What might happen or might have happened in the past, or where it fits in a story that's never been told...but not what's now. And that's what the camera captures...NOW. Is it possible to capture it? Maybe I just have to learn to be better in writing. And yet...Sometimes I think people do capture it. Some of Hillary and Josh's pictures...when you get past the first glance you can see there's a little more than the subject...a hint of a story or a feeling...I shall have to try...

I probably haven't made much sense...a weird thought hard to express...but definatly much more cheerful than some other things I considered saying. And now I must go. Go eat cream cheese and chocolate chips. Mmmm...mini cheesecake!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The girl

...and it went around a girl.

The wall

Once upon a time there was a wall...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Charity and Faith

I've been reading C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, and came across a very thought-provoking idea when he talked about charity. He said:

"I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charities expenditure escludes
them.
I am speaking now of 'charities' in the common way. Particular cases of distress among your own relatives, friends, neighbours or employees, which God, as it were, forces upon your notice, may demand much more: even to the crippling and endangering of your own position. For many of us the great obstacle to charity lies not in our luxurious living or desire for more money, but in our fear--fear of insecurity."

Am I willing to live like that? I don't know. It would mean relying on God more than ever...and now that I say that it sounds pretty stupid. Relying on God is a GOOD thing! It is amazing to be in that situation...to see Him come through for you in expected and unexpected ways. But can I bring myself to let go?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

There is nothing like the feeling of a baby resting his head on you and falling asleep...Is that how God feels when we trust Him?
I've had so much inner turmoil going on recently...I hated days off because I'd just sit and think...and then get so restless I had to take a long walk. Reminded me of last year about this time when Grandpa was sick and I'd drown myself in movies to forget or walk all weekend to relieve frustration (to the still-continueing detriment of my ankle). But now I think things are settling down a little. I still feel a little lost, but I know God'll make things clearer in His time.
Yesterday was interesting. I woke up at 2:00am...tried to go to sleep but couldn't, so I sat in the sauna for about an hour. Came upstairs and started reading a book called "The Names of God" by Andrew Jukes until 6:30. 7:00 went to work. Got off at 4, got home a half hour later and was welcomed by my family and Grandma and my aunt and uncle and two cousins...people really shouldn't have to do homework on a holiday...but it's not MY grade that's on the line either, so I shouldn't talk. Visited with everyone, played Snap and that cup game Hillary taught us, and very suddenly felt hemmed in. Probably from working in such a small crowded space and then sitting at a crowded dinner table and playing crowded games...It was hard to give people good-bye hugs.
I'm sorry if I hurt you Tasha. I didn't mean to.
Watched Without A Trace then went to bed at 11.
So maybe it isn't really interesting to read, but it was interesting to live.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Rule of Life #3


"Unless you have all the time in the world, don't try to boil the water on 'minimum'"

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Rule of Life #2


"If at first you don't succeed...
Skydiving is not for you."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

...no matter how innocent...


"Whatever weakens your reason, whatever impairs the tenderness of your conscience, whatever obscures your sense of God, whatever increases the authority of your body over your mind, whatever takes away from your relish for spiritual things, that to you is sin, no matter how innocent it is in itself."

--excerpt from a letter Susanna Wesley wrote to her son John



God, forgive me.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

"The sun is shining!"

This morning I had to fill the coffee urns with hot water before brewing the coffee, so that the urns were warm enough to keep the coffee warm. So I filled 3 of the 4 urns and set the coffee maker up to brew a pot of dark roast. I shoved the appropriate urn under and started to brew the coffee, then walked down the back and around the corner for a minute to attend to something. When I got back, the coffee was all over the counter and the floor. Took me a while, but I figured out what was wrong: ALWAYS empty the water from the coffee urn BEFORE brewing the coffee!
What a start to the day!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

"...He woke up, bumped his head, and wouldn't get up in the morning!"

It's raining. Yes, it is most definately THAT time of year. This morning I had the opening shift, and as I took the chairs down from the tables I looked out at the water in the street. Boy, it was rising fast! Wait a minute! If it keeps raining like this, it won't be long before that's more than rain! What happens if the ocean gets filled up too much? My uniform would get wreaked. I'd probably loose my name tag in my rush to reach higher ground. The bosses wouldn't like that. And all the hairnets would get washed away! Hooray for work without hairnets! In my dreams.

I like this time of year. Jeans, sweatshirts, blankets, hot drinks, books, movies...

Personal note here: Amy, watch out for the SK in Thailand. He'll probably show up somewhere. Don't forget to tell me about it!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

"...Just as God through Christ has forgiven you."

Oh brother, am I ever failing. There's a couple of people at work who are driving me crazy right now. I was reading my Bible during my lunch break and I came across Ephesians 4:17-5:19 and got hit by a couple of things. It's a passage talking about...wait for it:
Living in the Light.
You know how when something is bothering you, you just seem to talk about it...to any one who'll listen? Well, here it is in bold red letters:
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."
And there you have it. I can't argue that they do things to me and everyone else and therefore deserve to have it done back. I wouldn't want God to do the same with me. So now I have to see how I can learn from this situation. And I will.
Goodnight!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

In other news...


I CAN NO LONGER PLAY VIOLIN.

It's the sad truth. My sister and I were jamming together last night, and I discovered that I can no longer feel harmonies on my violin. It's like I can't really hear what I'm playing. Very sad...even though I've lost interest in it this past year/year+1/2, it still feels like a big part of me is gone. But life goes on.

Currently listening: Corpse Bride soundtrack (gotta love Victor's piano solo)
Currently reading: War and Peace, Tom Jones, For Women Only, The Rebelution (blog)
Currently watching: Here comes Mr. Jordan
Currently wishing: That I wouldn't talk so much (shoot my mouth off). And that I wasn't so afraid of living on the edge

Rule of Life #1




"When kicked by an Ass, consider the source."

Sunday, September 10, 2006

This [Layne]'s a Pain

by Ed, Rebecca, & Michael Emberley
(original name was Jane, but my own was substituted in tonight by my mother)

Though Layne is just an average name,
This Layne is not your average Layne.
I really could at length explain,
But, in short, this Layne’s a pain.

I should be nice and not complain;
Poor little thing, it’s such a shame,
So pink, so young, yet all the same,
I wish she’d just slip down the drain.

Would someone buy this pain called Layne?
She doesn’t scratch, she’s completely tame,
She’s never been left out in the rain.
No fuss, no mess, we’ve got her trained.

“Please, sir, I would like to complain.
This Layne is really much too strange.
She has no hair; she might have mange.
Look! She crawls—I think she’s lame.

“Is there some deal we could arrange?
Any more Laynes in our price range?
Can we return her in exchange
For some nice Layne who’s not a pain?”

Perhaps I’ll take Layne on a plane,
Then on some tiny local train;
I’ll leave her in the baggage claim,
Then quietly come home again.

It’s not her fault,
She’s not to blame.
She has such a tiny brain.
I guess we’ll keep her—
All the same, I can’t forget,
This Layne’s a pain!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ray Stevens!

Need a little cheering up? Something to laugh about? Give these songs a try. Just a taste of my favorites.

Mississippi Squirrel Revival
Ray Stevens
the music

Well, when I was a kid I'd take a trip every summer down the Mississipp'
To visit my granny in her antebellum world
I'd run barefooted all day long climbin' trees free as a song
And one day I happened to catch myself a squirrel
Well, I stuffed him down in an old shoe box, punched a couple of holes in the top
And when Sunday came I snuck him into church
I was sittin' way back in the very last pew showin' him to my good buddy Hugh
When that squirrel got loose and went totally berserk
Well, what happened next is hard to tell
Some thought it was heaven, others thought it was hell
But the fact that something was among us was plain to see
As the choir sang "I Surrender All" the squirrel ran up Harv Newlan's coveralls
Harv leaped to his feet and said, "Somethin's got a hold on me", Yeow!

Gitarzan
Ray Stevens
the music

He's free as the breeze
He's always at ease
He lives in the jungle and hangs by his knees
As he swings through the trees
With a trapeze in his B.V.D.s
He's got a union card and he's practicing hard
To play, the guitar, gonna be a big star
Yeah, he's gonna go far
And carry moonbeams home in a jar
He ordered Chet's guitar course C.O.D.
Like A and E and he's working on B
Digs W&W and R&B and even the chimpanzees agree
That someday soon he'll be a celebrity
Get it, get it, get it.

I'm My Own Grandpa
Dwight Latham, Moe Jaffe
Sung by Ray Stevens
the music

Oh, many, many years ago
When I was twenty-three
I was married to a widow
Who was pretty as can be
This widow had a grown-up daughter
Who had hair of red
My father fell in love with her
And soon the two were wed

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Light

I’ve been reading an Islam book that started an interesting conversation with one of the women at work during one of my breaks. Interesting, and yet redundant. Yet another person who grew up in the church and was put off by the hypocrisy, narrow-mindedness, holier-than-thou and judgemental “Christians”. It is unfortunate that we get in the way of people’s view of God. We have a serious responsibility to represent Christ in EVERY part of our lives at every minute of the day. A daunting task in many respects. I’ve been reading 1 John and it talks about this. As I read it I get the chorus of a DC Talk song go through my head:

“I want to be in the light, as You are in the light
I want to shine like the stars in the Heavens
Oh Lord be my light and be my salvation,
all I want is to be in the light!”


“This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin…. And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments…. Those who obey God’s work truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.”
--1 John 1:5-7, 2:3+5+6
I keep catching myself in a 'darkness' attitude. Especially at work. I don't necessarily like working with a few of the people I have to work with, and I find myself working mechanically just so I don't say nasty sarcastic things. But what kind of witness is that? If I am to walk in the light, I need to do more than just refrain from saying or doing harmful things. I need to be proactive. Cheerfully give my all when I work, to the benefit of the customers, my co-workers, and my employers, regardless of whether I like them or not. Because when I do that, I'm not really doing it for them but for God, and His character is reflected. I can't make people change their minds about who God is and what He's like, but I can to the best of my ability copy Jesus' example and maybe one day they'll not see me but see Jesus inside of me. Above all things, this is what I want. To be invisible, letting the Light shine through me unhindered.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The plot for world domination

You HAVE to watch this interview. Click on the link and the interview is on the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Brigitte Gabriel talks about growing up as a Christian in Lebanon and gives an interesting perspective to the conflicts in the middle east. Even if you have absolutely no interest in what's going on there, it impacts your life and everyone needs to be aware or we'll be next. They are already trying to infiltrate Canada, the US, and making great headway in Europe apparently.
If you can devote and hour to watching interior decorating shows or Oprah or a soap opera, you can manage 45 minutes listening to this.
I know I sound pushy and demanding. But really, how many people will really look at this? Huh? I admit I'll be surprised if I find out ONE person followed the link and watched it. Even if it was just for 2 minutes.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Scissors of Low Intelligence: are they a hazard to society?

A pair of low intelligence scissors was lying on the road today. If they had been smart they would have been lying off to the side where they could stab unsuspecting tires and cause the vehicle careening over into on-coming traffic. Instead, they were lying there right in the middle of the lane.
I wonder how smart my scissors are? I should sit down and have a chat with them.
...
You know what? They may be smart, but I've found out there's rivalry between them. See, the brown pair is older and more dull. The white pair is newer, sharper, and more popular with the main population in my house.
If you only have one pair of scissors, or if yours get along fine, someday you should ask them these two simple questions and see how they answer:
1) When lying in wait for unsuspecting tires, do you lie in the middle of the lane, or to one side?
2) When falling from a human's hands, is it better to open up and provide more sharp points to stab the toes below, or keep closed and have your full weight come down on one toe?
I suppose then we should also ask "Are you out to get us?"

Monday, August 07, 2006

A random question I hope someone might attempt to answer

You know how a rattlesnake's teeth curve in so that whatever they start eating they can't spit out again? Well, when one starts eating a rabbit from one end and another starts on the other end and they meet in the middle, what goes through the mind of the snake who fits in the mouth of the other? What's he thinking about on his way down to the other's stomach?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Happy Birthday Grandpa


Here's my Grandpa. He would be turning 80 today.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

five values I want to live my life by

Ok. So, I've thought some more on those personal values and have an idea of what's important to me. I suppose the easiest way is just to slap in here what I wrote in my journal. If it appears a little disjointed, just remember I wrote it as I was figuring it out.
Freedom to do what I want when I want where I want without monetary restrictions. Freedom to give to whoever I want. I guess a lot of Freedom to me is also no putting value on things; possessions. You know? For example, if I felt led to live in the dodgy part of town and invite a socially unacceptable person over for supper, I wouldn't want to worry about missing cutlery. To walk down the street and have no restraints on giving your pocket money to the street artist trying to earn enough money to buy his next meal. Maybe written out this doesn't sound like a part of Freedom, but in my mind (where it matters) it is. So:
1. Freedom
Adventure would be another value that is important to me. I don't want to live a dull humdrum life. I don't want to live the life of security and comfort. I want to be comfortable, but not at the price of Adventure. I want to take that leap (or even just that step) of faith, not knowing what will come of it, but knowing it is right; it is the Adventure. So:
2. Adventure
Family is important. Friendship I never put much value on because my Family is my support system. They have shaped who I am. They will always be here, a part of me, a gift from God, and good relationships with them are important to me. But then, in a way Friendship has become more important to me since DTS, so maybe I should put Relationships as my value. I am no social butterfly, but when I think about it, there are a few Friends whose friendship I value. Many people I am neither here nor there with, but there are a few. [here followed those tantilizing names that I will not post] So:
3. Relationships
Life. Human Life. It is a precious and very much undervalued thing in western society. Women abort their babies every day and most people don't seem to think twice about it. They donate their time, their money, and their Q-points at the grocery store to the SPCA and other animal-related societies, and though I agree that it is wrong to exploit nature or be cruel to animals, I think it's highly over-rated. People are suffering. People are dying. We can make a difference in someone's Life, even help save their Life, but it's the animals that everyone feels sorry for. Not the homeless 'bum' in Downtown East Side Vancouver, or the prostitutes the world over who landed their jobs not through their own choice but through the trickery and deceit of people they trusted. Life matters to God, and it matters to me. So:
4. Life
My Relationship With God is the most important value in my life. I want my life to revolve around this. In a way I guess all my other values fall under this one. Living a life in tune with God produces Freedom. It leads to Adventure. It affects your Relationships. It prompts you to look out for the Lives around you, and try to make them better. So:
5. Relationship With God
--end of journal entry--
If I live my life true to my values, I will be happier than if I had a million dollars, lived in the nicest house, and had all the 'things' I ever wanted. May God help me to LIVE!

Monday, July 24, 2006

values

My mom and I were talking for a little bit one evening recently (we talk more than that, but this was a short conversation) and she made some comment about knowing what your personal values are and knowing whether you live with them or against them. Got me thinking. What are my values? What things or ideas do I think are important? How can I know I'm living with them unless I know what they are? So I started writing some down. It's very interesting to see what I actually value and what I just think are good ideas but aren't important to me. I suppose in a way I started subconsciously thinking about it in YWAM, but now I'm trying to articulate it for myself. Do *I* actually believe certain things or put value on them, or am I just thinking a certain way because that's what my parents taught me?
Random thought: cold pancakes, raspberries, and whipped cream are very good on a hot day.
Random picture: I took this picture of the ghosts in Maroc. We were waiting for the cook to arrive at our chosen cafe in Essaouira.
Random thought: my accent says I'm from England, Ireland, and most recently South Africa and New Zealand. Can't I talk like the VIer that I am? I'm CANADIAN, and my parents don't have weird accents. Yet I'm often asked (by locals who I THOUGHT sounded just like me. I grew up here, after all) where I'm from.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

A puddle of thinkings from a hot mushy brain

Today is the day I want to be like this girl...cool and refreshed by an icy cold Coca-Cola. I'm hiding out right now, trying to escape the heat. Maybe I should be in the dungeon where it's a little cooler, but the computer is upstairs so here I am.

My brain is preparing for an interesting conglomeration of books and movies...a book on a 'special needs' kid called Sahara Special (thanks, Jash), one on Natalie Wood (actress--dead now), the movie Jaws, Papillon (Steve McQueen), the Magnificent Seven (western), and Wuthering Heights (Laurence Olivier and David Niven). I love the swirl of topics.

Dad's found a radio station that plays old songs. I've surprised myself by recognizing a few. A lot of the stuff sounds like Bing Crosby or Frank Sinatra stuff. Maybe I've heard it on movies. hmm...

A Christian lady who comes by my work sometimes gave me an encouragement card today. It says: "For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him." -2 Chronicles 16:9 I met her once when she came through my till, and she recognized me after I got moved to the coffee shop. She's made an interesting acquaintance...seems thrilled to find out I'm a Christian. She even invited me to her church. I may go sometime, if I get the time.

Here I get to share one of my favorite paintings by my favorite painter. The picture is called "The Singing Butler" and the artist is a Scot named Jack Vettriano. When I was in Scotland I looked EVERYWHERE to see if anyone had his paintings. I found the first ones in Dundee, and at one of the B&Bs we stayed in in the highlands the placemats had some of his pictures. I love the bold colours he uses. And the ballroom dancing on the beach.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The time before Once Upon a Time

I feel like I'm back in that awkward transition time of life. I've come from one place and I'm headed to the next, but I don't know where it is yet. And that makes the time...hard. And yet, I feel like I've had assurances from God Himself that He has things under control and that it's all gonna turn out ok. So when I remember that, the future seems exciting. Where's He going to take me? What am I going to do? At times I am impatient for the next part to come because I'm SURE it is going to be great, but that impatience causes me to miss out on the current part which also has it's goodness. It's really going to be interesting to look back and see how it all fits together.
I've had parts of Third Day's song "Rise Up" going through my head recently. It says some of what I'm feeling.

Don't let your heart be troubled
This world will never keep you down
It will never keep you down
So rise up, my friend
[Know] this will never be the end
So rise up, my friend
And live again
...But in your weakness you will learn to find
That I will always be your strength
I know I said I might not update much...well, I guess I need to. So, as long as my wrists will let me, I'll keep at it. But if I disappear, no one call the police. The Serial Killer didn't get me, my wrists probably did. Amy, that's for you.
"Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart's desires." --Ps 37:3+4

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It's closing in again

How much of life do you just accept and live with, and how much of it do you fight? How long do you ask God for something before you just figure, "hey! I guess it's just not meant to be."?
Aaaagh! I'm going insane! God, give me the strength to last through this one. I know I can't on my own.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Attention! Attention!

The young gentleman wishes to be introduced. This is my little brother Anders. He's the 2006 model, best we could find. Best, in fact, of all the models this year.
















Now that he's introduced, I'll just say I probably won't be updating much for a while. Until things get sorted out and I stop falling apart. However long that takes. I hope it's not another year and a half again.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

"Seizing Your Divine Moment" by Erwin Raphael McManus

Living a life pleasing to God is more than just avoiding evil. It's seeking to do good. It's active. Taking initiative. Doing SOMETHING instead of just not doing wrong. When you delight yourself in God He gives you desires. Passions. And He wants you to do something about them, even if it's not quite the thing He wanted you to do. He's God after all, so he can redirect you if it's necessary.
Now I have to practice.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

It's Rebelutionary!

The Rebelution: A teenage rebellion against the low expectations of an ungodly culture.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Three Ogres Found Guilty in the Assault on Three Dolls

Further investigation reveals that Jane Doe #2, Shelly, and Sam were the casualties of a recent visit to the Johnson household by three rather young ogres, not disiplinary-action-gone-overboard as has been suggested. The Silent Evil One has been cleared of all charges and wishes the Overworked Barista to know that she had nothing to do with the three boys. She has no comment on the girl however.

Oh Canada!

Happy Canada day! I know it's rather late, but I haven't had a chance to post until now. Yesterday I saw an older gent wearing a shirt that said "I'm not only perfect, I'm Canadian!"

My family (minus Rauchelle because she was working) and I drove into town to watch the parade with a "few" of our friends. Just two other families adding up to 6 parents and 17 kids. We had fun. Before the parade started we were entertained by a group of cloggers dancing to a variety of music styles...celtic, North American fiddle, country ("going once, going twice, I'm sold to the lady in the second row...blonde hair, blue eyes and I'm about to bid my heart goodbye!"), honky-tonk, and...African! The lady calling out all the steps was so amusing, the way she matched her voice and the timing of her words to the music.

One thing I always wonder about when Canada Day and the parade comes along is, Why are we so quiet and undemonstrative? Maybe it's just here in my hometown, but though everyone turns out for the parade they're pretty quiet as it marches past.

Anyhow, I'm generally proud to be Canadian.