Friday, January 30, 2009

magical castles and family night

at the beginning of january, jackie and i roadtripped to fussen, germany, to watch the u-18 female world championships. five kilometres outside of fussen are two amazing castles - one of which was the inspiration for walt disney in building his famous castles at walt disneyland and disneyworld.

the first pic is at the rink with the following being around the castle grounds. it was a 40 minute walk up to the castle - an extremely pleasant, crisp morning walk.

last night the canadian flat in prague had familiy night! jackie made her famous honey-almond chicken with rice, i made a salad and we finished it off with coffee (french-press style) and dessert - courtesy of jackie again. she made her mom's homemade chocolate pudding recipe. sooo good! arielle and jeni provided the whip cream for the pudding and of course, the entertainment - themselves! it was great to eat a meal sitting around the table and sharing life. our friend, kelly, who plays with vienna (and is a fellow Saskatchewanite) is here visiting, so she joined us for family dinner. kelly first visited as she and jeni became friends in saskatoon, but after visiting a few times she's a "family" friend now! :D come back soon, kelly!

here are some pics from the night:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

today must be a blogging day

lately i've been thinking a lot about the concept of worshiping and mulling, for the past 6 months actually, what it means to be a missionary. the two relate so completely and wholly.

you are a missionary for what you worship.

does that make sense? according to the Word, we were created to worship, to give our heart, soul and mind to something we can believe in, to stake our lives on, something to give us sense and meaning. some people choose work, family, music, celebrities, god, etc. to fill that longing.

i was thinking too, about the "pressure" that exists once you're labelled or give yourself the label of missionary. i mean, i guess for this phase of my life it's my "job", but i really hope it'll always be my calling if not my official job here on earth.

then there's the whole other aspect of the pressure of being a missionary because there exists this idea that somehow a missionary is perfect, has it all together, has amazing quiet times everyday! that might sound ridiculous when you read it on paper, but who doesn't think that about missionaries in your head? you hear a missionary speak and you're like, wow, they really love jesus. they're in the stinkin' african jungle or some other random location, living for god. but isn' that their heart, their specific calling? if your calling is to stay at home and work a different job, then you're still a missionary. your field is just not somewhere far away from home.

if you love jesus, you're a missionary for jesus. if you love pop culture, you're a missionary for that because it's what you worship. maybe this is the ramblings of someone who's thoughts have been bouncing around for too long without rationalization.

if anything, life has gotten harder since i became a missionary for jesus. maybe some of that is just as we get older we realize how chronic, how embeded in human nature, is sin and death. and really how prone to it we all are, no matter our "title". some of it is that satan is threatened by someone who loves jesus. if i worship making money, what's it to him? i'm not following hard after jesus anymore, am i?

so i guess to go back to that random sentence a few paragraphs up, you're a missionary for what you worship because the things we worship are the things we've given value to, that we spend our time, money and effort on. they're the things we talk about, that we want to discuss with others.

so what's the point of writing all this down? i donno, maybe you have some thoughts you can shoot my way. i guess it's just that sometimes there's pressure to feel like i have to talk to people about jesus, because i forget that i WANT to do that. i want them to know his love, his absolute cleansing forgiveness, that he delights over them. and that what their hearts are REALLY searching for is the depth of life lived through a relationship with god in christ.

i'm a missionary for jesus because he's who i worship. it comes down to the simple, yet life-changing realization, that he's worth staking everything i have on.


the bid for the euro cup ended in the second round. we were swept by finland, 1-0, and khazakhstan, 4-2, and then beat denmark, 10-0. us four canadians kind of think that if coach karel had played us together for all the periods, instead of only the last period against khaz where we scored two goals, that we might have been more successful over all. just our thoughts, but i guess we'll never know!

next year...???
i wish i could somehow explain just how beautiful this country is, but i don't think it's possible to convey with words. even pictures barely suffice. it's something you have to see for yourself.

for the first time in a long time, prague got snow over the holidays. i wish i had snapped pictures when i had the chance because it was incredibly beautiful! i'm not exactly sure what it is that makes things so attractive around here - i think it's the intricate detailing of the facades, and the mix of man made beauty with what god already had here.

since late december i've started running, preparing for the prague half marathon at the end of march(a new challenge!). almost everyday i jog down to an incredible park, 3 minutes from my house, to complete my run. i've fallen in love with running, but i don't know how much that has to do with the actual running part or the fact that i'm running in the amazing surroundings of stromovka. the trees are tall, old, somehow reverent, the paths criss-cross, connecting the ponds, rocks and benches. there are always people there running, walking, visiting, enjoying being outside.

i'll keep you updated on marathon training... we'll see if stromovka can keep me trucking when i'm logging an hour and a half!