Sunday, August 31, 2008

Malaysia Trip - Monday August 11, 2008

I worked today, but didn’t stay late. Most of what I am doing is handing over responsibilities to other people. I’ve started to pack, pinning down some details like which camera to take. A couple of other people have sent me best wishes and the assurance that they will be praying for me. I think perhaps I’ve been too focused on praying for my own personal well-being and the well-being of my family. All of this is important, but not as important as the work of God being done. I’m travelling to Malaysia for a reason; to teach the Bible to the Christians there. Yes, they have their own Bible teachers there, and quite capable ones. But for some reason I’ve been led to the other side of the planet to minister the word of God. Needless to say this kind of thing doesn’t happen to me very often. As an interesting side note, I received an email from a fellow in Singapore, asking me some questions about dispensationalism. It was kind of weird to reply, “I’ll be in Malaysia later this week, and if you would like to come to the conference....” My cold seems to be continuing at a low level. One more day of work at Alcatel-Lucent, and then I fly out. And finally, we had unexpected company tonight. My friend Jamie was on his way through Ottawa with his family, and stopped by for an hour to visit. It was a really great visit, but they pulled out at 9:00pm for the 6 hour drive to Sudbury!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Malaysia Trip - August 10, 2008

A couple of days ago I was asked to preach on short notice at Bridlewood this Sunday. This was a special challenge because I am getting a cold, and didn’t have time to prepare my usual set of notes. Instead I preached from a rough set of notes, perhaps a page in length, plus the actual text of 1 Corinthians 12 written out. I ended up cutting some of my material and still went overtime, but nobody seemed interested in leaving. The subject was Spiritual Gifts, in the context of the local church working together as a body. The message seemed to go well, and my voice held out. But the highlight of the meeting was that the church held a special time of prayer at the Sunday morning Family Bible Hour, concerning my upcoming trip to Malaysia. One of the elders called me to the front of the church, laid hands on me, and a number of the men prayed. I had been feeling considerable anxiety about the trip (travel, leaving family, etc) but since this time of prayer I have had complete peace about it. This trip is an answer to prayer, I know what I am supposed to do, I’ve done all the preparation I can do, my fellow Christians are praying, and that’s that. Two more days of work at Alcatel-Lucent, and then I fly out.


As some of you know, I've just returned from an amazing 17 day trip to Malaysia. I will be chronicling my experiences day by day on this blog, starting from a couple of days before I left. But first, my body needs to figure out what time it is.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


I haven't watched much of the Olympics, but I saw a brief clip that impressed me. It was the end of a boxing match. The guy who lost came from a country whose flag I didn't recognize. He'd probably trained for years. And this was probably his big chance in life. And he lost. So at the end he gives the guy who won a hug. I was very impressed at the sportsman-like behaviour. I hope that young man does have success in his future endeavors; he certainly has a great attitude.

Friday, August 08, 2008


About 5 years ago I went down to our patent office at work with the first of several ideas. Today I received word that my first patent was granted, United States Patent 7,386,787. So I guess I'm now officially an inventor. 8-)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I guess it shows

I guess it shows when someone owns their own business. I hired a plumber the other day. He came while Karen was home in the day, did a good job and left. We needed a minor adjustment, so he came back tonight. That let me make my own impression.

He advertises himself as giving white gloves service. He brought a mat and booties so that he didn't mess up our floor. He phoned when he was going to be slightly later than he had said. He was apologetic about the need for some minor adjustment. He was working until 6:30pm at my place, and had one more job after that. He also showed Bethany what he was doing, and told me that he likes encouraging young people to consider trades like plumbing. When a guy owns a business, it shows. Oh yes, and when Karen had a flood in progress and phoned his hotline, he walked her through what to do, not knowing if he would get a job out of it. Will I phone him again? You bet.

Now an application. Stock options are given out few and far between these days. But we do get bonuses if the company performs well. I feel that Managers should get their bonuses in company stock, with some sort of vesting period. Don't get me wrong; I like a cash bonus as much as anyone. But I believe that anyone with management responsibility should be an owner of the company. I felt so strongly that I wrote the Senior VP of HR. He sent me back a prompt reply, but didn't agree. Well, I tried.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Christian Commitment?

We usually define commitment in terms of time, energy and money. And yes, these are a measure of commitment. What would you think of my commitment to may marriage if my wife got little of my time? Or what if I said I loved her, but had little energy for activities together. And would you think I had a strong commitment if I spent all my money on me, and little of it on her? You wouldn't think much of my "commitment".

And so it is with the Christian faith. I may self-identify as a Christian, but if my time, energy and money were examined, would others think that I am a committed Christian? Or would they think that my highest commitment is to my job, my computer games, my sports teams, the gym, my pristine home, or even my family?

But there is one other dimension I want to mention, and that is enthusiasm. If energy is the physical energy with which we tackle tasks, then by enthusiasm I am referring to the emotional energy and interest that we invest in our activities. There is only so much enthusiasm available within us. And perhaps the best measure of enthusiasm is what we talk about. What is talk about is usually what we are aspiring to.

So by this measure, what do I aspire to?