Friday, July 24, 2015


July 23, yesterday, was Christine’s birthday. She is looking and feeling great for her age, which will go unidentified here. She is fantastic to be hanging around with me, an older guy by eleven months and I am 72 and will be 73 in September. We are fortunate for so many reasons, for our health today, for children and grandchildren only minutes away, for a comfy downsized home, for friends.

Last night, Eugene and Elaine Bodner joined our family, Cari and Tim and their three, Kailyn, Ryan and Jayden and Jeff and Gina and their two Kale and Kadence. We gathered at Jeff’s and Gina’s home for an evening of appies and desserts and conversation and some nice wines. It was another pleasantly warm day with a lovely sunset. Children love each other and love playing with one another. This is how Christine likes to celebrate, casually, simply, and with people close.

Today, we get ready to make a trip together with Karen and Rob Stewart, leaving tomorrow morning for the Tsawassen ferry to Nanaimo, from where we will travel north on Vancouver Island to Port McNeil, meet Ben and Anna Crumbeck and have lunch, and then go by ferry to Malcolm Island. We will drive to the village of Sointula, where Ben and Anna live and pastor the Sointula Community Church. We will stay overnight, and I will preach on Sunday morning and then the church is having a community BBQ. We will leave the island at 3pm and we have a reservation on the 9PM ferry from Nanaimo back to the mainland, so we’ll be home between 11:00pm-12:00am Sunday night.

Monday, we may be at Cultus Lake with the Locken clan for the day.

Sunday, July 19, 2015


A random spout
That's all, not rancorous but attentive to life
As now I live it vigorously, and why not
When already past four score and ten
I contract arduous house-painting opps
Working like a young man, to a loop
Of my choice, Divo, Rod Stewart, Bublé and Phantom
For two coats on a neighbour's walls
Adding money to my Art Fund - my fine art resource
If there's time for canvas between writing and speaking
Long after my challenging professional years
Vested with office and colleagues a seeming lifetime ago,
When in our private home we took privacy for granted,
Then downsized for profit to live in common property
Shared by hundreds whom we hardly know,
Many of whom smoke weed, my unsolicited default fragrance
On a summer evening, at parties held within earshot 
Between midnight and the 5 o'clock train,
Just in time for me to wake for coffee and the gym,
And renters moving in and out and good riddance
Since they care less than owners for our pooled space,
In time as well to see the Donald,
Announced Republican candidate for U.S. Pres
Who surprised Nasa scientists with New Horizons spacecraft photos of Pluto.
Life is anything but uninteresting, when my ears need aids,
And my car needs a soft top, and my wife needs cataract surgery,
And my nearest neighbour needs a detox centre
And my grandkids long board to our house
Where cantaloupe and conversation and water satisfy them.
In our uncommon prolonged summer heat
My raised bed garden yields zucchinis
Tomatoes flourish high on towering plants
And fragrant roses flower for all to enjoy.  

Friday, July 10, 2015


They are making the movie right here in lower mainland B.C., and I have been just metres away from some of the filming this week. This may be a good film, if it keeps to the script. John Fusco, best known for writing 1988's Young Guns, wrote its screenplay adaptation from the book by the same name by first-time author Paul Young which sold 22 million copies worldwide. Of course many in the evangelical world took issue with the 2007 best-selling book, The Shack, in the first place, castigating it and its Canadian author Paul Young for parodying God and the Trinity, perhaps even depreciating these entities.

I treated the read years ago as the novel that it was. You would throw out much of C.S. Lewis' fiction if you took the same reactionary stance against his material.  Young was not teaching theology, but telling a story, the account of a man's pain at the loss of a daughter as a result of a kidnapping and murder by a serial killer. Sam Worthington plays the lead role of Mackenzie "Mack" Allen Phillips who is plunged into a deep emotional abyss that embraces fury at God. Four years after the horror, he receives a letter from God called Papa. 

And of course this representation in the book set people off, because portrayed Papa as a woman, a black female who will be portrayed by Octavia Spencer, who has already won an Oscar for her role in the "The Help." Radha Mitchell is in the role of Phillips' wife and Amelie Eve is their missing daughter. I saw her in the canoe scene as it was being shot last night. The Shack and Papa's cabin tucked into the woods are all on site and the filming went on for the four days that we were close by holidaying in a cottage. Very fun.

Paul Young himself says that he is excited about the movie because he has been given the rare opportunity to invest his creative input into the filmmaking process. We will see how much his voice is heard.  Young calls the book a metaphor for “the house you build out of your own pain.” 

Will non-believers be confused, led astray from God’s true persona? Might viewers who never think about God, feel compelled to seek to know him outside the context of the novel? I will look forward to the movie. I won't fashion my theology, or my concept of God based upon its expressions for deity. I may however, learn to meditate more keenly on some aspects of the character of God as expressed by the three persons whom readers may discern as the Trinitarian God image. I may  be encouraged about the compassion of God for his human creatures when they suffer.