Monday, August 28, 2006

Fare Thee Well

Lying in her bed, she struggles to draw breath. The recent car accident -- a head-on collision -- has taken its toll on her 97-year-old body. There were several tense days in the ICU, hooked up to a respirator while doctors shook their heads, but she's home now. At least, she's back in the senior care facility that has been home to her these past few years.

Her grand-daughter has stopped by to bring her roses, and welcome her back from the hospital. She can't help but notice the discomfort her grandmother is obviously in. "Grandma," she asks, "would you like me to pray for you?"

Breathing with difficulty, she nods her head and says, "Yes, please pray."

Her grand-daughter prays for a few minutes, and then looks at her grandmother's struggle to breathe, to hold on to life. "Grandma? Why don't you just relax, and go to Jesus?"

And closing her eyes, she peacefully does just that.

Today, I am in the Toronto area, serving as a pallbearer as we buried my grandmother. Her journey of faith is a remarkable one, and the number of people who came to the funeral today were testimony of the lives she and my grandfather, who died some years earlier, had touched.

But the story of her last moments with my cousin Diane is the best telling of her passing. Let's just leave it at that, and have a moment of silence in respect for a woman of God, who is finally in the presence of the One she has served for over 90 years.

Marjorie McAlpine, 1909-2006
Good-bye, Grandma.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Post-Charismatic: New Developments!

Kingsway Publications, a publishing house in the UK, has contracted with me to publish the Post-Charismatic project on this blog in book form.
I'll keep everyone posted as the process of getting the book ready for publication goes on, but best guess at present is a release in early 2007.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Monastic Coffee Imbibers

"Well, there's more than one way to start a monastic community."
- Len Hjalmarson commenting on our tent city
Last night we had the pleasure to sit around on our deck with noted blogging luminaries Len Hjalmarson and Brother Maynard, along with their wives and all of Maynard's family, who showed up a few days ago and pitched a tent in our back yard.

As we complete our YWAM outreach, we already have a family of five from the Netherlands and two radical 20-somethings from Alaska living with our own family of five. Plus Family Maynard camping. Our mealtimes on the deck resemble the mess tent from M*A*S*H, except that the quality and taste of the food would be much higher.

Hence Len's quip about our "monastic community"...

Anyway, we're back from our 8-week outreach, having survived an intensely up-close-and-personal experience with YWAM leaders committed to Shepherding Movement-style authoritarianism. Yesterday, we finished a very difficult week of re-entry meetings with YWAM Okanagan, and after tonight:
  1. We'll be officially finished our YWAM DTS, and
  2. We'll be celebrating with Guinness
P.S. This will probably come as no surprise to anyone who knows us, but the amount of St. Arbucks coffee beans that have been ground and consumed in the past couple of days is either impressive or disturbing, depending on your point of view. We should probably call our little monastic community of survivors "Fellowship of the Bean".