A church experience may be in our future

So it looks like the Martin clan is going to go to church today. I am not sure really what to expect except that it is set up physically like the open house was. It’s a brunch at a persons house around the corner from us. I feel a little excited and nervous. Excited to engage again, and nervous that it is going to be no different than any other experience. Of course that is not their problem, it’s mine, and bless them for even trying.

More to come.

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Did you just say circumcision?

So last night I decided to scrap my road trip dinner routine and get a quick dinner and go to a downtown Starbucks in Saskatoon to write and work a little. (I usually go to a sports bar and watch whatever game is on). I spent quite a while there, but near the end of the night a couple girls from the University of Saskatchewan came in and sat on the lounge chairs behind me. They were cute girls, wearing their teams colours in sweat pants and whatever else university students wear these days. (for the record I never wore sweat pants in University).

What surprised me next was what they began to talk about. Personally I had been enjoying listening to the Reckoners, while updating my iPhone to iOS6 and writing on this blog, but they weren’t sure if the seats behind me were taken so they asked me if they were available. This caused me to take my ear buds out and actually listen to the bustling sounds around me.

Now there was nothing said that was shocking, but what surprised me is the way these girls talked about Christianity. They were hard core conservatives and I can’t say I expected to hear it from them. To be really honest, they sounded like me in University. Really Zealous and not afraid of using all the big words, no matter who was listening. Being over 10 years since I was in University I had to laugh a little when the words circumcision came tumbling out. I’m sure everyone in the Starbucks (not wearing headphones) could hear them talk about transcendence, righteousness, purification, sanctification and my favourite, circumcision, but these girls weren’t really aware of anyone else.

I am not going to write about what I agreed or disagreed with, I mean that wouldn’t be fair since I didn’t engage them in conversation (to be honest the conversation was so much about religious terms and 1-upping each other theologically I didn’t see the point). I just want to say how interesting it was to hear myself, sort of, and to take some time to reflect on where I have come from. I feel like God is making himself known, and has been here all along, but I wasn’t ready to engage Him. To listen to these girls, lit a small fire in me. It made me realize what I still know about God (even the book stuff) and how it hasn’t left me. Maybe I will hear some people engage in a conversation in the future and feel like entering in, but for now (however bizarre the conversation sounded) I will enjoy listening and reflecting.

I did have one more thought as I was walking home. Anna and I have spoken at length about our University life and our choices (such as getting married 8 months after we graduated) and I realized that University age is still quite young. It is what it is, to use a popular phase. There can be no regrets or do overs or even celebration of choices you made. We make choices, we exist, and we live with them. In essence our life now is really a reflection of who we were and who we’ve become. For me to look back at my use of circumcision when I was in school and criticize it is an exercise in futility. But I do wonder, if University Christian kids can get that passionate about understanding theology at 20 years old, I wonder what passions those who are not Christians have (I think I failed to notice). I used to think they didn’t have any (oh my 20’s!) but now I am actually curious to know. I think its probably some fantastic stuff. I can say this freely knowing the God who creates and blesses all His children.


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Sleepless in Saskatoon

The plan was to move to Victoria in order for me to not be away from the family as often. Well tonight I find myself in Saskatoon (been here since Sunday night), wondering what happened. And over the next 6 weeks I will be away for 3 of them (and in Red Deer no less). I went from being away over one night in the week, to being away for 4 nights every other week! Not terribly fun. And the truth is, being away is bringing about some demons. These demons called forced productivity. That if I am going to leave people behind, I better get a lot of work done.

I believe this is the battle for me these days; justifying the “need” to be productive. Especially when I am away. Almost as if “someone” is looking over my shoulder, whispering into my ear making sure I know that I am letting everyone down by traveling again. This is my battle… these voices, these ideas, these stories that run my productivity and pollute my mind.

I’d really like to get rid of these voices.

I’d really like to hear my own voice again.

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Something’s going on

It’s been about a month now that we have been in our new(est) place in Victoria and it’s been a challenge. I think what I did not foresee was how much we would miss our friends. We have been lucky enough to be able to get back into vancity for a few events, a holiday and a wonderful weekend in Birkenhead, but I think we would always itch for more interaction. More to say on this at another time.

What I am finding that is happening to me here in Victoria is that I am starting to feel up for going back to church again. I had a nice chat with a friend the other day about Victoria churches and I mentioned that what I think is holding me back at this point is that I don’t believe I will find what I am looking for… Basically I am looking for the open house. We’ve been back visiting a few more traditional set up churches, and although I wasn’t in the best place to get involved or even hang out there a little more often, I knew that I would never really be able to make my home in these environments.

But here I am today and I think I might be ready. It’s been a funny ride these past few years being out of a formal church community . I’ve been challenged to go back, challenged that I might not be a Christian anymore, felt the hurt of words of some of my closest friends as well as some of the joy, wondered what many people thought about my absence (this is my codependency), walked in…walked out, read some stuff that brings me back, read some stuff that makes me think I’ve left it all behind, felt confused, felt like I didn’t know what it all meant, wondered what I would tell my kids about my past, felt jealous about some of my friends that have made Christian leadership successful, felt angry at some of what I was taught and what I see others teaching, missed teaching deeply and I am sure there are so many others.

What I haven’t felt is regretful. What appears to be 8 of my last 10 years, was one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had. Not speaking negative, or positive, just incredible.

So here I am in Victoria thinking about going back. (and those of you who know me, you know what I mean by going back).

But I am wondering, can I find another open house, or will I need to create one again?

That’s probably a scarier question…

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Slow blogging, fast tumblr

Hey friends, I have been writing (a little) and posting photos on my tumblr blog, until I decide how to utilize my motion sickness blog again.

Follow me on Tumblr or on twitter @urbanplanter

I will write more lengthy posts here in the future.

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Book 40 & 41 of I am going to do this until I’ve read my 48 books

I read both these books last week.

Loved Rollins work, and I always do. Brilliant stuff. Incredible thoughts about God as a Machine. Ask me about it sometime.

Pagitt, well let’s just say his writings were for a different time of my life. Not a bad book. But not for me right now.

Only 7 more to go. It should happen this year as Anna and I are having a competition.

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my cup is half full

Yesterday I spent the morning with the boys, while Anna took some time off to write. For 4 hours we wrestled, made breakfast, built a tower with lego (also called a volcano), threw toys at each other, carved a pumpkin, read books and played in the dark with a glow stick.

When I tried to leave at noon to go to work my oldest boy was really sad and wanted me to stay. That hasn’t happened in a long time.

I don’t blame TV, I blame myself.

This is one of those times that I was happy my boy was sad.

Anna continued the trend after I left and when I came home my boy ran to the door and gave me a huge hug and repeated all the creative games we played and wanted to play them again…

Anna said his cup was full…

…so was mine.

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Am I deceived or is this it?

I sometimes wonder if I deceive myself.

I have some good goals for my professional life, but I currently do not have the motivation to do them. And I wonder (philosophical question here) if I really do not own these goals, but instead I have false-self goals that are really my ego telling me I have things to do, goals to strive for, in order to let others know that I can do more than work a day job and look after my kids.

Truthfully I am finding hard to do anything these days that doesn’t involve working and hanging with my boys. And although “hanging with my boys” sounds nice, I have been distant in that regard too. Finding myself quick to let Jude watch another video, instead of creating a new game to play with him or utilizing some games that he already has.

It is usually at this point that I might ask the question of what it might take to break out of this funk, but honestly I wonder if it is a false funk. I wonder if I am actually not in a funk, and I really don’t want to accomplish any of those goals. Or maybe I do believe I can accomplish these goals…

…Then again, maybe I fear failure.

Ok this is getting too deep.

I think I liked it better when I needed surface level advise of how to get motivated… but who is kidding who, that will not help it will only suspend the real issues… whatever those issues are.

It’s time to do some work on myself…

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You can’t honestly know that

I have been thinking a lot lately about what you can really know, and what you think you can know. A good example of this is the Present and Future. You can know what you are doing, feeling, seeing at that moment, but you can’t predict what you will be doing, feeling, seeing in a moment in the future. You will be able to know at that moment, but just because you will know, doesn’t mean you do know what it will be.

When I reflect on this I realize how much time I have wasted thinking about the future or how I have not moved forward because of my fear of the future. How is that I have a complex that believes that “something I can’t know” will cause “this or that” in some time in the future? Where do we get this fear?

Sure, I understand that we have past experiences that cause us to believe that if that same situation arises again the same result will occur, and we fear that result. But, in its purest form, that thought is ridiculous.

You can’t honestly know that.

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the false self is a hoarder

Anna has been spending a good amount of time purging our house and garage. In fact she has been purging regularly for years now. The truth that keeps her going is that any thing we are holding on to because we “think” we are going to “wear it,” “do it” or “get to it” is likely false, and if it becomes true we can always buy it or get it again later. It is not worth holding on to just to see if you true-self makes the decision to honour your false selfs ideals. Does that make sense?

I am starting to see how hoarding is a great example of living in the false-self. It is generally the case that people who hoard believe that they will have some need for the stuff that they hold onto. Of course then it ramps up from there.

For myself I am trying to adopt this true-behaviour from Anna. Am I going to use it now or do I use it/ wear it/ need it regularly. Otherwise my false-self is living in my garage, and I do not have time and space for things I am never going to do.

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