12 October 2011

Has this always been there?!?

"And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God.

The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening. When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, "What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?" And Moses said to his father-in-law, "Because the people come to me to inquire of God; when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws." Moses’ father-in-law said to him, "What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone. Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace."

So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And they judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves. Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went away to his own country."

Exodus 18:12-27

It's like it just appeared out of no where...In 32 years as a Christian/in the church I don't think I'd ever read this chapter, or heard it or any kind of teaching about it. In one sense, I am not surprised. We don't take very kindly to Jethro's advice in the church...why is that? We could use a little more "and they will bear the burden with you" in our lives...a few more Jethro's-observant enough to take notice and strong/compassionate enough to do something about it...talk about leadership...

07 October 2011

Vancouver, BC

What a city! So happy Sarah and Harald gave me an excuse to visit this beautiful corner of the world. Sarah (a nursing school friend) and Harald (her new German husband) married last Saturday - a cool overcast day - but inside their small church was a beautiful example of God's blessings. lovely and simply done - communicating well the lives of the people we celebrated. A few reflections on the city these two call home (for now):
  • a international population with a european feel
  • coffee shops really are on every corner independently retail is the name of the entrepreneurial game - from coffee shops to grocery stores and restaurants - few chains.
  • most peculiar traffic signals and patterns (flashing arrows?! everywhere. pedestrians?! everywhere. stop lights with only stop signs on the cross streets?! everywhere. The MOST sensitive and reactive crosswalk buttons EVER. Press the button, count to 5 and the light changes. no joke. makes for pedestrian heaven and drivers'...well....challenge...)
  • everyone is outside with or without kids no matter the weather - sunshine or drizzle.(many more men out with their kids than in the US)
  • logs that look like chopped off telephone poles in neatly arranged rows on the beaches....peculiar if you ask me...awful clean cut and organized for driftwood...the Canadian version of the beach towel? no idea...
  • very stingy with their parking...sheesh...maybe another one of those methods to encourage pedestrianism? if so the method is very effective.
  • stately forests in Stanley Park
  • calm cool deserted sands at Jericho Beach
  • stunning mountain and water views
  • a drive along the stunning Sea-to-Sky Highway from Vancouver to Squamish
  • Poutine - the heavy but tasty British Columbian traditional fare (fries with gravy and cheese) with their own delightful Pumpkineater Imperial brew at Howe Sound Brewery in Squamish
  • conversations with old friends over steaming hot chai to warm the soul
  • a return to the metric system...dividing the cost of gas sold in liters and Canadian dollars into gallons and American dollars...kph to mph to avoid becoming acquainted with the Canadian law enforcement system...
  • automated shampoo and body wash dispensers in the shower?!?! clearly I'm not the seasoned traveler everyone says I am...somehow I was a bit uncomfortable with technology moving into the solace of the shower...
  • pastors with chunky silver chains reading the text for their sermon from their smartphone...another first for sure, but the hip pastor preached a refreshingly honest and poignant sermon pointing out that so often we are afraid to believe - believe that God is who He says he is. Amen cool brother.
  • last but not least: Sarah and Harald of course - Sarah the compassionate, practical, creative, baker and cook, nurse and church staff person, Harald the smiling German architect outdoorsman and "thinker" (as his friends dubbed him)...a fabulous couple with wonderful families who know how to throw a fabulous party! BEST WEDDING FOOD EVER!