Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Blogging has not been high on my priority list lately. I did want to wish everyone a blessed Christmas. This is indeed a bittersweet time for our family. I said in my last post that we are enjoying one another. That is true. It is also true that we really miss Emily. I was looking through the beautiful calendar that Juanita made for my mom this afternoon and was really moved by the lovely pictures of Emily.

Christ has come, however, and we celebrate His victory over sin and death. We can enjoy the day tomorrow - and we did enjoy the day today - because our Saviour has come.

Thanks to everyone who has commented on this blog and to the people from our church who read this blog. We really appreciate you.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mid December Update

Life has been busy lately. Most of it has been good but some of it has been quite stressful. I won't try to give an itinerary of activites, calls, visits and etc. in this spot. I will say that we are humbled and thankful for all the expressions of kindness and concern that we have been shown. We've done many thank you cards, but we'll never do enough.

One interesting thing that happened recently was that we received a care package from camp - usually that goes the other way. Jim and Wendy from Sunnybrae sent us a pack of cards and notes that came with gifts to the camp in Emily's memory and they included some cookies and other goodies. That was very nice. They also sent along Josh's camera - the one that he left at camp, but thought he brought home. It had pictures on it from the summer, obviously, but one of them was particularly special to me. I thought I'd share it here.

This picture was taken at the beginning of a youth night when the family camp teens and some staff went to Salmon Arm for the evening. They had a dress up box and were able to get spiffed up for the occasion. No, my shirt wasn't from that batch, it was just the one I was wearing that day (it was a gift from a Sri Lankan friend).
I feel a general tiredness and sadness. That is quite expected, I guess. The rest of the family is doing well, considering. We're keeping pretty busy and enjoying each other. Thanks for your continued prayers.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Inadequacy of Words

Lots of thoughts and feelings are churning around this week. I don't find writing on this blog particularly satisfying because there are so many restraints in writing publicly. It was a strange thing to see quotes from this blog in the National Post and other media. That reminded me to be prudent in what I write.

I came across a quote from a ficiton book that I'm reading (at my wife's recommendation):

Every time a writer tries to put some experience, memory, feeling or observation into words, even in his own native tongue, he's translating in a sense. He's changing the intangibles of life into printed matter.*

That's good. It exposes some of the limitations of blogging that I've been sensing, but haven't been able to articulate. I can't translate life into words in this blog, particularly not in the last several weeks.

I'm sure I come across differently here than I do in person. That's part of the reason I've been careful with giving interviews. I do like to think ahead and have the opportunity to edit before I publish something. I don't merely want to keep up appearances (enough people who know me in real life know that I don't have it all together), but I don't want to say anything here that could be hurtful to my family, church or community.

I'm thankful that at least with my sermons and Bible studies, I get to simply point to the Master, the Creator of words. The word of God is living and active. If I work at keeping my public teaching less about me and more about what God has said, the people in my church will be well served.

It is astonishing that God would condescend to speak to weak, fallen human beings using words.The Bible is supernatural. When we learn to read it "back-to-front" with Christ at the center, we can't help but be astonished at God's light.


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7

Now that is writing. Reading back from the unveiling of this Son in the New Testament, these verses are not only beautiful, but so important - life and death important.

This is the Christian's hope - the hope of the world - that God's Son, Jesus Christ, is the Good King in the absolute sense of those words. Salvation is of the Lord. When salvation is fully and finally revealed, all the clouds and hints and shadows of inadequate words that reflect our inadequate lives will be blown away and the light of His glory will shine forever. If we are in Christ by grace through faith, then we will reign with Him as adopted sons and co-heirs eternally.

*Jamie Langston Turner, A Garden to Keep, p. 251.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

An Arrest

The news of the arrest of a man charged with Emily's murder has brought, as you can imagine, mixed feelings. We are thankful for this step, and we are particularly thankful for the RCMP's "above and beyond" work on this case. On the other hand, this news brings many difficult feelings to the surface. We're doing pretty well, though we're lying low today. We continue to trust in God for His strength and comfort.

We don't know the man charged, though I have seen him once or twice at different town events.

This begins another phase in this whole experience for our family, but we appreciate the dilligent work of the RCMP and the support of our church and community.