I know it’s cliché to be talking about getting old. When I see people talk about that in various contexts there is a part of me that just wants to tune out. Maybe that’s exactly how YOU feel as you see me start off talking about that topic. That’s fine. If you need to shut off your computer now and move on, I understand. But I just find it SO interesting to see just how attitudes and thoughts change the more you age.
Watching everyone under the age of 30 walk around with their heads down looking at their phones all the time or seeing the endless Facebook posts of young families “share” their parental struggles or even the thought of camping in a tent, has me mostly internally shaking my head and reacting to the world around me in ways that feel like I’m getting a bit prickly or crusty or cranky somehow. I may not verbalize some of these thoughts or feelings but I can assure you that I feel them. The fact that I’m talking about them here somehow feels a bit vulnerable and exposing of me in ways that I don’t feel very proud of. Is this normal? Does everyone go through this? What do these observations regarding myself tell me about me? I’ll be completely honest. I think I still need a lot of work.
Perhaps the old adage that the older you get, the less you know is really true. It sure feels true to me. Over the course of my life, I’ve been an expert in a few things. Overreacting. Selfishness. Being Critical. These few things come to mind. Hmmm. I would like to believe I’ve also become more compassionate, understanding and tolerant but I suppose there’s only a couple of people that could vouch for such character improvements.
I taught a sermon yesterday at church on finding happiness through the giving and receiving of mercy. I really enjoyed putting together that teaching and I had a number of people who commented afterward on how much they enjoyed the teaching. But I have to admit, I’ve never felt more challenged by one of my own teachings than I did after that one. I know I said some good stuff. But now I know I need to “practice what I preached”. This idea that when I choose to give mercy, I’m choosing to give someone what they don’t deserve is a real slap in the face to someone who loves justice as much as I do. “What goes around, comes around” has been one of my favorite sayings and although I do believe in the principle of sowing and reaping, the decision to be merciful is one that I know I need some encouragement in.
Maybe that’s a good part of growing older. Occasionally, I can step back and gain some perspective even about my own life. I can take some time to check in with God regarding some of these character challenges and figure out how and where I need to let go of that need to control and let Jesus do some massaging on my spirit. With this body and in the shape I’m in, I can ALWAYS use a good massage.
I had the privilege of attending the YWAM Canadian leadership meetings held in Pinawa, Manitoba this past May. The topic of these meetings centered around how we would continue to function as YWAM Canada given some new leadership structure that the YWAM Global Leadership Team had initiated almost two years ago. That change in structure was being conducted based on a geography that split Canada in half and connected us with the Eastern and Western halves of the United States. Prior to this, we had always operated as separate nations in our structure.
What we came away with and in conjunction with YWAM values, was that we as a YWAM Canadian Leadership Team, felt that our relational and strategic connections as YWAM Canada were valuable and that we desired to maintain and continue to operate with relationship and relational authority. This did present some opportunity for new leaders to rise up and take responsibility for our connections rather than relying on the same old folks to do the work in making those connections happen.
As for myself, I continue to have the opportunity to work at the Thunder Bay Jail and the Thunder Bay Correctional Centre as the main thrust of my YWAM work here in Thunder Bay. That, and the partnership that continues to exist with Redwood Park Church, which is part of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. The combination of these two ministries continues to provide a wealth of opportunity for me here in Thunder Bay. Thanks for your ongoing prayer!
Summer is in full swing here in delightful Thunder Bay. For the first time in a few years, we are actually getting some summer weather. The last few years felt like long winters followed by overcast cool “summers” and then back to snow and cold again. This season of summer has felt good not just in the warm temperatures but also in some life changes that are requiring some adjustment.
For those who may not know, our daughter Alex is in the outreach portion of her Discipleship Training School. She left for Perth, Australia at the end of March where she finds herself on the same journey that both her parents took in their early twenties. That being said, she not only has expressed a deep satisfaction with where she is and what God is doing in her, she now wants to stay for at least another year, wanting to take a secondary school plus perhaps staff a DTS come next spring. She is now actively fundraising for her Transformation School and should you be interested in helping her, for now, you may send tax deductible contributions to us and we will forward to Alex till she can get her own accounts set up.
Jacob also left the house in mid April to take a job in northern Ohio and although he is back with us now, the house felt awfully empty and large for the months of May and June.
Simeon has been working at Karen’s Law firm part time this summer doing some odd jobs around the office where everyone loves him. It’s really hard not to like such a guy that contains no guile and a great attitude, does everything he’s asked to do and only takes 15 minute lunch breaks everyday!