Wednesday, September 20, 2017

That makes sense!

I was getting ready for my day when I noticed how grey my hair and beard had become. Instead of looking like a pirate, now I looked like Santa Claus.

As I wondered how that could possibly have happened without me noticing, I remembered something I was told almost thirty years ago. Roy Corey, a member of the Truro Church, told me how he had discovered his eyesight was directly connected to the amount of pigment in his hair.

When I questioned him more, he told me how he had noticed that when his hair was dark he had no problem seeing, but as his hair became progressively greyer, his eyesight got progressively worse. Ergo, it was apparent that his eyesight was directly connected to the amount of pigment in his hair.

When you think about that, it makes sense. An obvious case of cause and effect. But I have discovered in life that just because something makes sense doesn’t mean it’s true. Those in the world will often ask you to embrace their culture and their values simply because they make sense. Granted, sometimes they do make sense, but that doesn’t mean they are true or right.

And just because you colour your hair doesn’t mean you won’t need glasses.

Have a great week and remember: To see what is really possible, you will have to attempt the impossible.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Making Memories

I subscribe to Yogi Berra's theory that if you don't attend other people's funerals, they won't come to yours. With that in mind, whenever I can, I attend the funeral of Wesleyan Pastors on our district.

Last weekend the staff from Cornerstone made their way to the chapel at Kingswood University in Sussex to say good-bye to a friend and colleague.  Pastors from across the district gathered to pay their respects to our former District Superintendent David LeRoy, who had passed away after his lengthy battle with cancer.
The most moving part of the service for me, was when his three grown sons spoke sharing their memories of their father.  And as each one spoke of the things that made their father special, I wondered what my children would say about me at my funeral.

And I realized that my children's impression of me, as their father, is now formed and for the most part, the majority of their memories of our relationships won’t change.  I remember hearing once, that what matters isn’t who your father was, it is who you remember him to be.

So, this Penn is for you parents who still have children at home.  If you want your children to deliver your eulogy, then the time to prepare is now!                    
              
Have a great week and remember: To see what is really possible, you will have to attempt the impossible.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Say What?

I was sitting in my office annex the other day and was listening to folks use Canada's third official language as they ordered their double doubles, triple singles and four by fours.  Which begs the question: is a coffee with four creams and four sugars still a coffee? But again, I digress.

As I listened to the customers speaking in a code readily understood by those who served them, I wondered about the language we speak in our churches.

How often do we assume that everyone who comes through our doors on Sunday morning speaks the same language as we do?  And I'm not talking about English but when we bandy around terms like “grace” and “vestibule” and “propitiation”, maybe we don’t bandy propitiation around so much these days.

I have to remind myself from time to time that not everyone understands "churchy" language. Part of my job is to act as a tour guide, as I lead people to catch a glimpse of the eternal.  And part of that job is occasionally acting as a translator, translating "Christianese" into everyday English.

If you get the wrong coffee because of a miscommunication, that's a mistake that can be corrected. If you miss eternity because of a miscommunication, that is a tragedy and it's forever.
                                                                                                                       
Have a great week and remember: To see what is really possible, you will have to attempt the impossible.