Category Archives: faith

Good Morning!

“What do you mean?” he said. “Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on? “All of them at once,” said Bilbo.” Tolkein, The Hobbit

And so, I bid you a good morning!  I finally saw The Hobbit last night with a friend who, though had already seen it with his son, accompanied me to the 3 hour movie to see all of the spectacular 3D visuals of middle earth.  I thoroughly enjoyed it!  It only made me dizzy in a few spots which is a vast improvement over the Cloverfield debacle of 2008.  One of my favourite parts of the story is the stay at Rivendell.  Partly because 2 years ago, I stayed there.

That’s right.  I found a portal to the magical place of respite and wonder.  I found clarity and comfort there and was renewed to continue on the adventure of faith.  Now, my portal took on the appearance of a westjet flight, but was still magical in it’s own way (3 seats to myself!)  It was a gorgeous place in the mountains full of deep magic where I fell in love with God and life again after some very weary years.  Now, when I need to rest, I simply recall the feel of that place and the wind as it blew through the trees down the mountainside.  Someday I will return there, but right now – “I’m on an adventure!!”   Where is your place of respite?

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Today I have a bunch of random reflections from a week that has been very jumbled.  So, today, a jumbled blog post.

Merry Christmas!!  For those following the orthodox church calendar – may you enjoy your festivities!  Sometimes I think it might be kind of nice to celebrate now, extending the season for just a bit longer into the new year when one can focus a little bit more. There’s something magical about Christmas that causes more contemplation and allows for possibilities of forgiveness and connection.  I ended up going to The Meeting House yesterday morning and someone led a guided breathing exercise.  It was a great reminder of our need to pause, reflect and rejuvenate  before getting to the ‘heavy lifting’ in life.

Last night at The Commons  we watched a clip from Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.  This looks like a wonderful movie about death, grief and life following grief – all set in a magic toy store.  Brilliant!  I’ve heard really good things about it…now to try to find it. We had communion and had a time of reflection on forgiveness which was particularly meaningful given the crazy, broken week that had been experienced previously.  It was so healing to say and receive the words “you are forgiven” as we shared the bread and wine together.

Kale – a new healthy choice?  I had some kale and bean soup last night and have discovered that in addition to being a delicious ingredient in soup, it is so beneficial from a health standpoint.  It helps lower cholesterol, and has all that fibre, vit K, A, C and lots of iron thrown in there too.  Must try more recipes with this yummy member of the cabbage!

The search for winter boots is still on.  With this plate in my ankle, it’s proving to be quite difficult to find boots that allow for movement while still keeping my feet warm and dry without making my foot go numb.  I think the days of cheap shoes are gone.  Maybe I’ll try MEC and see what they still have in stock.

Is it possible for me to keep a plant alive?  I got a beautiful flowering Christmas cactus from a friend and I think I’m killing it already. Anybody know the proper care of a Christmas cactus?  I know there’s something about light training it and not giving it too much water…  we’ll see what happens.

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The Path

As we stand at the beginning to the Labyrinth, we are asked to take a deep breath and let stress fall away as we lower our tense shoulders that were hunched against the day’s pains and fears.  We allow a question to come into our minds, as we embark on a winding path into the centre and back out again.  The focus is on the moment.  This.  Footstep.  The temptation to race ahead and rush through is immense.  We wonder if people think we’re crazy to walk this path.  But we do walk it.    O n e   s l o w    footstep at a time, as we bring to mind: Authenticity, Truth, Community, Justice, Hope, Peace and Beauty.

As a part of The Commons, we created a labyrinth for Open Streets today to encourage us to take a moment and remind ourselves of the greater journey that we are on.  We may be strong or wavering.  We may be stubbornly courageous or have lost hope. We may be experiencing all of those things– at the same time.  But journey we will, through this labyrinth of life. One moment at a time.  Breathe.  It’s not always straight, but the path is there.

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Doors Open Hamilton

Today was Doors Open  –  the day when you get to peek inside of that building you were always curious about but wouldn’t normally go inside.  Who knew there was such beauty hidden behind the doors of the Orthodox Serbian Church on Barton St E?  The exterior is pretty non-desrcript, but once you enter their worship space – wow.  Icons, murals and wood carvings adorn every space.  The scent of incense was fragrant in the air and added to the sense of sacredness that permeated the sanctuary.  It was amazing to see the  two huge, beautiful chandeliers and hear the story of how the icons came to be painted on every square inch of wall in the space over 4 years.  Whenever I travel, I always love to stop in at old churches to feel their history and sacred space-ness.  But there are so many right here at home too!  I love this city and all the hidden gems that are right in the heart of it.  I can’t wait ’til next time Doors Open comes around to discover some more treasures of Hamilton.

Also posted in Events

Chased by the Light

On this Good Friday it is good to reflect on spring and the renewal of life.  Having just come from an intense Good Friday Lament worship gathering with my friends, I am particularly aware of how dark it gets sometimes.  The isolation, despair and brokenness that surround each of us at times in our lives can feel overwhelming like darkest night.  It can feel like the darkness of Good Friday.

But then our darkened eyes begin to see that dawn is coming.  Light strains in and we begin to see that in the end, hope wins out on Easter Sunday.  That amidst the cracks of  a broken life, hope springs up.

Recently, I took a little road trip in the early morning and was stunned by the beauty of the sun as it rose behind the car. With the destination before us shadowed in the dark, the Light chased us and pushed away the unknown and the fear.  There was darkness before us, yet we were seeing the Light overcome it before our very eyes.  Each morning, each renewal of the light pushing out the dark, is a reminder of the Hope that dark Good Friday has bought for each of us.

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Also posted in nature

Christmas Traditions

I love Christmas. I love the carols, cheesy movies, twinkle lights and the magic of the season’s generosity that people join in each year. I love the traditions that help to signal Christmas’ arrival… the annual baking day with friends from The Commons, advent candles and the nativity play.  Mostly though, I love that it’s at this time of year we are reminded that Hope came into the world and we gather with friends -both old and new and family to celebrate.  Can’t wait to feast together!

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Also posted in fun


It’s no secret that I love traveling… I like the whole experience.  The dreaming, the planning, the journeying and exploring. Sometimes it’s great to find an exotic new place of wonder which leads to unanticipated adventure, but often revisiting an old haunt and rediscovering the magic of a place can be just what is needed.  Taking an intentional trip reminds us of life’s journey and the necessary risk involved in living out our dreams.  I’m reminded of an old Garth Brooks song (a remnant of my years spent in Saskatchewan) that talks about daring to chance the rapids to reach the other side.  I don’t know if they’ll be any actual rivers or slippery streams on this particular trip, but I’m so looking forward to this mini-break out of the ordinary.

You know a dream is like a river

Ever changin’ as it flows

And a dreamer’s just a vessel

That must follow where it goes

Trying to learn from what’s behind you

And never knowing what’s in store

Makes each day a constant battle

Just to stay between the shores

And I will sail my vessel

‘Til the river runs dry

Like a bird upon the wind

These waters are my sky

I’ll never reach my destination

If I never try

So I will sail my vessel

‘Til the river runs dry

Too many times we stand aside

And let the waters slip away

‘Til what we put off ’til tomorrow

It has now become today

So don’t you sit upon the shoreline

And say you’re satisfied

Choose to chance the rapids

And dare to dance that tide

And I will sail my vessel

‘Til the river runs dry

Like a bird upon the wind

These waters are my sky

I’ll never reach my destination

If I never try

So I will sail my vessel

‘Til the river runs dry

There’s bound to be rough waters

And I know I’ll tke soome falls

With the good Lord as my captain

I can make it through them all

And I will sail my vessel

‘Til the river runs dry

Like a bird upon the wind

These waters are my sky

I’ll never reach my destination

If I never try

So I will sail my vessel

‘Til the river runs dry

Also posted in nature


The fog that descended upon Hamilton last night was just beautiful!  I had to get out and take a few snapshots of the eerie, mysterious light.  Without the blanketing fog, I probably would never have noticed the light shining in the darkness.  Diffused, but still present… a good reminder as grey November is upon us.

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This morning I woke with a memory of the time I was waterskiing a few years ago.  The waves were pretty choppy, the wind cold, but I was determined to enjoy the last moments of summer with one last run around the lake.  My huge, python-like arms were getting tired when all of a sudden my ski dipped beneath a wave causing my feet to stick, then pop right out of the boots as I continued to hold on to the rope a split-second too long.  For a brief moment I was a cartoon character come to life with feet dangling behind me as I clung to that boat line…then…  SMACK!  I face-planted right into the water with ringing in my ears and a moment of blackness – I had given myself a slight concussion.  Lesson – learn when to let go.  I’m reminded of a Rob Bell Nooma video from a few years ago called Today.  In it he talks about embracing today and not getting mired longing for ‘good old days’ of the past which prevent us from truly engaging in our lives and finding new life.

…how much energy do people spend wishing things were how they were? If you need to celebrate how good it was then celebrate, if you need to remember how great it was when they were alive, then remember that. And if you need to grieve, grieve. If you need to apologize or make amends or you need to do something to make peace with how it was then do it, but then move on. I mean there is a certain kind of despair that sets in when we believe that things were better back then.  When we’re stuck back there and when we’re not fully present, when we’re still holding on to how things were – our arms aren’t free to embrace today…The answer is to be so fully present here and now that you don’t miss a thing in this day … and you don’t have any regrets because you were there the whole way.  – Rob Bell

So, here’s to embracing today and fully appreciating love, life and making every moment count.

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How To Live Before You Die

In June of 2005 Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, gave a commencement speech at Stanford University.  Seems appropriate to share this today in memory of him.  There are some really great thoughts about life, leaving work, love, obstacles and tragedy in this TED speech.  He spoke about the time he was fired from Apple and how that situation led to great things and a time of creativity…and how you can’t connect the dots in the moment or looking to the future…it’s only when you look back that you realize you wouldn’t have the great things now if you didn’t have the painful times then.

Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. – Steve Jobs