Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Books Books Books!

I read a few books while I was on vacation. Here is a quick recap in case you want to pick one of them up.

The Furious Longing Of God by Brennan Manning
This was a fun read. I’ve got a few of his books and this one is my second favorite of all of his books.

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
A novel of a young lady looking for some inner peace from being abandoned by a mother and raised by a mean father. Good, not too mushy.

Emerging Churches by Eddie Gibbs and Ryan K. Bolger
Great book on understanding the things we need consider in today’s post-modern age. I’ll reference this book often. Talks a lot about creating environments where life growth can happen. I’ll be getting my pastoral staff to read this book.

A Class with Drucker by William A. Cohen
A great leader’s book. Most of this I’ve heard before, but there was a couple of gems that will change the way I lead and my way forward in life. I’ll test some of it and begin to practice it a bit before I blog on it.

Quantum – A Guide for the Perplexed by Jim Al-Khalili
I love this book. I’m not quite done yet, but it’s so much fun to read. If you want to read a book that is as close to the laymen’s language as possible, if that is even possible, to the world of quantum mechanics then this is the book to read. Quantum Mechanics fascinates me and is one of the most important theory’s known to man about our world and its sub-atomic structure. If I ever write a book it’ll be called Quantum Leadership. You would think they don’t go together but I am finding so many parallel lessons. To get a taste of what I am talking about then read anything my Margaret J. Wheatley. I'll be blogging on this kind of stuff.

Grown Up Digital by Don Tapscott
This is a great book. I’m not done yet, but what I’ve read through so far is very helpful in understanding the technological age we are in, and what that means in how we communicate and stay relevant with the new generations coming up behind us. I’ll be recommending this one to my “older” pastoral staff.

Axiom by Bill Hybels
Has many things in it that I've already gleaned from listening to Bill over the years. If you've never had much opportunity to hear Bill, then this would become a valuable resource for you as a leader.

Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, 1 Peter, 1 Timothy
All good stuff. Books of life. Pick these up for sure.


8 for 31

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pain and Sacrifice!

While we were gone over the last two weeks in Phoenix we had our 30th anniversary. (Maybe that’s where that last post came from!) I thought I would do something special for Kath on that day so I decided that the best think I could do for her would be to pluck my nose hairs. Oh the pain and sacrifice! I sneeze every time I do this, and then I always give up. But this day, this was the one day when I would suck it up and completely finish the dirty deed.

So I did it.

I was so proud of myself.

We had a great day planned. Some shopping, a really nice lunch planned, and a few other things we had on our list. It would be a great day. So we get in the car and I can’t contain myself anymore for fear that she would not notice my nose. So I said, “You know dear, I pulled all my nose hairs this morning for you so that they were not sticking out.” She looked at me and smiled and said, “Oh, that’s so special sweetheart.” She had that look that suggested to me that she was half smirking and half appreciative of my efforts. It was enough for me to grin and feel good about myself and the huge sacrifice I had made.

I’m sitting in the driver’s seat during this little conversation, waiting to fire up the car and start the day. After my revealing announcement I see she is still smiling and admiring my efforts, and then I see her eyes go from my nose to my right ear and she says, “Dear, you missed the ears.” I laughed. Oh well, I thought to myself, perhaps next year I can take care of that for her.

I’m loosing my hair off the top and it’s all coming out the front and sides! What’s with that!

Sure this all sounds a little silly, but as you grow older with someone, and your love deepens, it’s the little things we do for each other that become more pronounced and appreciated rather than the big gifts I use to round up for her when I was younger. You can actually get points for just doing a simple thing for your wife. Amazing! And I’m sure that if I look around during my day, there are a lot of simple things I can do for her.

I think the simple things we give one another speak of something far deeper than anything large we could ever do. We don’t need to impress each other, but we do need to love, care and respect each other.

We are both content to do the little things for each other now. It feels good.

8 for 27

Monday, March 23, 2009

It's going to be a good day

One day last week in Phoenix I got up early and headed to a local coffee shop. I was sitting there at 7:00am with my coffee and reading a great book. I’m at a table against the window where the morning sun is pouring in and it felt warm and great. Everything was perfect. Coffee, book, sun, music on low, I think Leona Lewis.

I looked up from my book and just outside my window a couple drives up in a Jeep Cherokee. He parks the car and they talk for a minute. They are maybe 55ish.

I have one of those moments where everything went into slow motion and I became aware of everything that was happening around me. So I start watching this play unfold in front of me. He opens his door and gets out. She’s not moving, just sitting there quietly with a peaceful look on her face. He heads towards the back of the vehicle and walks around to the other side. Not fast, not slow, just the right speed like he was thinking. It’s like he was in this special moment enjoying the full experience of having the opportunity to show a bit of kindness and affection to someone of great value.

He arrives at her door and opens it for her, she steps out like the queen she is and stands up front of him and looks at him and then smiles. This was no special occasion to hold the door open, it was just coffee. But it was as if this was the norm for them. It looked like they just didn’t know any other way.

They walk together to the coffee shop. They are not walking like they are on a mission to have coffee. It’s like their mission was just to be together. There was something quite poetic about it all.

I had to turn my head and shoulders around so that I could still watch them as they approached the door to the coffee shop. Again, he opens the door for her. She steps in. It was then that I suddenly realized that my time with them had ended and so I reluctantly turned around and was once again with my coffee, a bit of sun and my book.

I think that today needs to be different than yesterday for me. I am going to show some kindness and affection to my wife and treat her like the queen that she is. Today I get to be in her presence. I’m sure it’ll be a good day. Tomorrow too!

EEKKIHSKEKEKEESKKKEKK!!!! (The sound of a turntable record that is being stopped and scratched)

Sheesh! I can’t believe I wrote that mushy stuff! Someone get me a beer!

Okay, I wrote it. But don’t go thinking I’m all mushy and stuff. I'm still going to have a great day with my wonderful wife.


7 for 24
No Tim’s yesterday. Sadness.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Back Up Plan?

So I’ve been away from home for that past two weeks and have had all kinds of Internet withdrawal fits. I’ve got a couple of posts to catch up on with some of my thoughts over those two weeks and then maybe I’ll get back down to business with something worth reading.

We came home yesterday on a flight that has those “two” compartments for all the people. You know the ones I’m talking about, first class and second class. Have you ever noticed getting on one of these flights and it’s just a natural thing to look at all the people you are passing on either side of you? But as you pass through the first class, these people are sitting comfortably in their spacious seats with lots of leg room and they are not looking at you. Heads down, they are attempting to read a book or a newspaper, working on a laptop, maybe sleeping (like as if you could sleep with 200 people walking by you), but absolutely anything they can grab right away so that they don’t have to catch your eye. Total avoidance! I’m thinking that they are either suffering from a huge case of guilt or they got attitude. I’m hoping the former.

As soon as you get by them and into the second class area, everyone is getting settled in with all the hustle and bustle. At least half are settled and are now looking at all those coming down the aisle wondering who might be sitting beside them. You can catch half of them directly eye to eye. It’s like they are thinking, “Hey, look who’s one of us!” And you’re walking down the aisle, aware of the first class area you just passed through, and you’re thinking, “Hey, I’m one of you guys!”

And then we all get nicely settled …. and the curtain closed.

I’m sitting there listening to the schpeel on preparing for a disaster, and there is a little sign on the back of the seat in front of me that says “Use your seat cushion as a floatation device if we go down over water.” (Or some such statement.) I’m thinking, so what do they get up there? They don’t have that sign! They must get one of those yellow floatation vests that go around your neck and keep you bobbing upright in the water. We get a square rubber cushion to hang on to as we try to keep our noses up and out of the water. They get a little cord to pull, and then a little back up hose to blow in if it fails. What’s our back up plan?

I laughed and then had a sleep. I was just thankful that I was only a few hours away from a Tim Horton’s’.


7 for 24

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Where did it all go?

Every wonder where all the rubber goes that wears off of the car tires?

Let’s use some conservative numbers here.

We’ll consider Highway 2 here in Alberta.

Using the stats provided from the province for 2007, there is an average of 91 million kilometers driven over the course of a year by all vehicles traveling various distances between Calgary and Edmonton. Don’t believe me? Here, you figure it out.

The average tire, (conservative at that) is a 16 inch tire that has 8.5 inches of tread. That means that if a tire looses .5 inches before it’s no longer useful, every tire would expel 335 cubic square inches of rubber. That’s also assuming that you could condense it all back into a hard form, but in reality, it’s now dust and could never be packed that tight. But for argument sake, let’s leave it as 335 cubic square inches per tire.

The average tire lasts about 70,000 kilometers.

So 91 million kilometers divided by 70,000 = 1300 sets of tires were wore out.

Every vehicle has at least 4 tires. We should be averaging more, but we will leave it at 4 to stay conservative.

So 1300 times 4 tires times 335 cubic square inches equals 1,742,000 cubic square inches or 1008 cubic square feet of rubber.

In a single year.

That’s a solid block of rubber that is about 10 feet by 10 feet by 10 feet. This is assuming it’s a solid mass. But it’s not. It all came off as dust so it would take up even more space. More than likely double.

Where is it!?

Where was it for 2007, and where did it go for 2008? Where did it go for all those prior years?

I’m thinking we should start seeing it somewhere.

And every year it just keeps getting worse.

So if we don’t see it in the ditches then maybe its floating around in the air.

Next time I drive somewhere I’m holding my breath till I get there! How about you?


5 for 18

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