{December 26, 2011}  

Amidst a very busy couple of months where I haven’t posted as much as I’d have liked, it has been such a blessing this weekend to celebrate Christ’s birthday with my church family, and a holiday of love and togetherness with my family. It was our first Christmas without my grandfather, which was of course sad, because he’d have loved what Christmas was this year – a time of family togetherness, my parents and step-parents, my brother, my grandmother and step-grandmother, and of course us and the kids all together … it was a time of generosity and love and stands out, despite that, as an amazing Christmas.

I hope everyone out there has enjoyed the holidays as much as we have, and will continue to do as it’s off to Kitchener tomorrow to enjoy the last couple of nights of Chanukah with my in-laws, and see other family and friends out that-a-way. Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah, Seasons Greetings to one and all. XO

{December 12, 2011}   Alight at Night

This is what we did last night (not our video – and you don’t need to watch the whole thing it’s 10 minutes long – but worth checking out some highlights):

This is ‘Alight at Night’, an evening Christmas program at Upper Canada Village, an awesome old fashioned ‘village’, an outdoor living museum between Morrisburg and Ingleside in Eastern Ontario (not far from Cornwall, or Ottawa) – just Google it for more information; it’s really cool. If you want something a bit shorter but neat to see, look on Youtube for Alight at Night and check out the ‘sound and light show’ featured in several videos. It’s an amazing, family-friendly experience. Just be sure to dress nice and warm – it’s nighttime in December after all! 🙂

{December 6, 2011}   Jesus – Occupier?

First of all, please CLICK HERE to read the CNN religion blog I’m responding to, written by the head of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins.

Now … my first reaction was, oh my God, where do I even start with this? And then … well, maybe I don’t even need to start with it; it’s such hooey, no one would believe this, would they?

Then I remember, many do – many good hearted folks have both this image of the Occupy movement adherents (if you’ve been living under a rock the last two months, look it up) as lazy, welfare-collecting hippies with a senes of entitlement, the first generation of ‘Participation Ribbon’ winners who don’t understand life has winners and losers … and this image of Jesus as a devout, socially and economically conservative figure in their own image. And I think this needs to be addressed.

First of all, I’m not even going to start with the religious aspect. I’m going to start with the point Perkins makes about halfway through this blog that “each of us is given the same opportunity to build our lives, and each of us shares the same responsibility to invest our lives for the purpose of bringing a return and leaving a legacy.” I’m sorry – both of these points are simply fallacious. Ask anyone who has been discriminated against due to race or ethnicity, anyone who has been too poor to attend good schools, get good healthcare, anyone who graduated university (or didn’t!) at a time when jobs were at a premium and thus was unable to get one … opportunity is not equal. Nor is responsibility – and in a very sick twist Jesus would never approve of, oftentimes the largest bulk of the responsibility to fix the various messes in our world today is placed on the poor, as the rich benefit from lower tax cuts, from more secure jobs, from excellent severance packages when those jobs DO come to an end. This is just not true. Period. And anyone who can say with a straight face anymore that ‘each of us is given the same opportunity to build our lives’ has their head buried so deep in the sand I’m wondering if they’ll ever seet he light.

Now, in terms of the Parable of the Talents Jesus shares – yes, it is a tale of hard work and responsibility. However, the master of the servants the master left responsible for his money also spoke to, and understood, that they might have different strengths, different ability levels – ‘talents’ as we understand the word today – and didn’t specify what their calling necessarily was; he only asked them to care well for his belongings and do their best. Working to shape a more fair and equitable world to the best of our abilities – in terms perhaps better understood to more conservative Christians, caring for the Lord’s creation until His return, as best as we can – is what we have been tasked with. This is not an homage to the free market – it is an homage to excelling as much as possible, and at least doing no harm. In that sense … a few bad apples aside … the occupiers are indeed living out the Jesus message.

Still not convinced? Well … at the end of the day then, perhaps we should remember further words shared by this same Jesus – the one at the very heart of his Christian message:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.  
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.  
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

et cetera