Archive for February, 2009

So many paths up the mountain?

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Can those who believe that every faith system is an equally valid path to God explain their logic to the albinos of Tanzania and Burundi?

Update on those eight bible translations

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Way back in the summer of 2007 I posted about a parallel New Testament containing eight translations that I had recently started reading through.

Well I finished the book of Revelation some time ago, but hadn’t got around to posting an update.

However today I noticed that Marc has a post on the subject of bible translations, so I figure this is an appropriate time to give my top picks.

1. For a “reading” bible, my next purchase will be the New Living Translation (NLT).   A couple of the other “dynamic equivalence” translations were close, but I thought the Today’s New International Version (TNIV) wasn’t quite as readable, and I found “The Message” somewhat annoying after awhile … it seemed to be trying too hard to be colloquial.

2.  For a “study” bible, my next purchase will be the English Standard Version (ESV).   I agree with Marc and a couple of commenters on his post that the average reader is in no position to really know how close a translation is to the original (I can’t read Greek), but the fact that it’s been criticized as the translation favoured by “conservatives” endears it to me.


Reading through the eight translations simultaneously was a worthwhile experience.  I might even do it again some year.

Three wolves

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Logan and Arnie have managed to harvest three wolves so far this winter.  The first two are black, and the most recent one is grey.

Logan and Arnie with two black wolvesLogan and Arnie with a grey wolf

The wolf population in Saskatchewan’s agriculture/forest fringe area has been increasing dramatically in recent years, to the point where predation on livestock is a problem in some areas.

Some people are opposed to trapping.  However I see it as a valid way to supplement an income, provided it is done in compliance with provincial legislation.  In fact the trappers that I know tend to have a good understanding of conservation biology, and see themselves as responsible stewards of our province’s renewable resources.

May they have continued success, and here’s hoping that fur prices increase.

But he has read about Canada

Monday, February 16th, 2009

As the mainstream Canadian media continues in the Obamafication of newly-anointed Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, I must concur that he looks really sharp in his red ties.

However, am I being petty in my concern that the man has lived in other countries for most of his adult life (1978 to 2000 in the United Kingdom, 2000 to 2005 in the United States, not to speak of the stints in southern France)?.  If a messiah is to appear to save us from the evil Harper, is it reasonable to want him to come from our own country?

Obviously many Canadians don’t share my concerns, according to the most recent polls.

Ignatieff is an intellectual, so I am sure that he has researched the subject of Canada.  Actually living here before his appointed time was apparently optional.

Always and forever

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

It’s Valentine’s Day, so here for my sweetheart is one of my favourite love songs …

Why do you love me?
Why do you need me?
Always and Forever
We met in a chat room
Now our love can fully bloom
Sure the World Wide Web is great
But you, you make me salivate
Yes I love technology
But not as much as you, you see
But I still love technology
Always and Forever
Our love is like a flock of doves
Flying up to heaven above
Always and Forever
Always and Forever(stifled sobs)
Yes our love is truly great
Always and Forever


(from Kip and La Fawnduh’s  wedding scene after the end credits in the movie Napoleon Dynamite … I couldn’t find a video clip but a sound clip can be listened to by clicking here)

Satellite sky

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Why do I lie awake at night
and think back just as far as I can
To the sound of my father’s laugh outdoors
To the thought of Sputnik in free-flight?

Before I could fashion my poverty
Before I distrusted the night
I must’ve known something
I must’ve known something
Those were the times I live for tonight

Why, why, why, I say Why, Mama, Why?
Why can’t I sleep in peace tonight
underneath the satellite sky?

It can’t be easy for my children
I’m hollow before my time
It looks like a desert here to me
Where is the promise of youth for my child?

Where are the faraway kingdoms of dreams?
We’ve been to the moon and there’s trouble at home
They vanished in the mist with Saint Nicholas
They lie scattered to the ghettos and the war zones

Why, Why, Why, I say Why, Mama, Why?
Why can’t I sleep in peace tonight
underneath the satellite sky?

I want to stand out in the middle of the street
and listen to the stars
I want to hear their sweet voices
I want to feel a big bang rattle my bones
I want to laugh for my children
I want the spark to ignite
before they find out what it means
to be born into these times

Why, Why, Why, I say Why, Mama, Why?
Why can’t I sleep in peace tonight
underneath the satellite sky?

Mark Heard © 1992

Saskatchewan seafood dinner

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

It’s choosing the perfect wine pairing for this dinner that’s difficult.



Thursday, February 12th, 2009

I enjoy stumbling across blogs on focused topics  like this one about Haskap.


That’s right,  haskap. Not just any edible honeysuckle, but haskap, the varieties of Lonicera caerulea being bred by Dr. Bob Bors at the University of Saskatchewan.

I can boast that I’m one of the few people in Canada who has actually made haskap wine.  It was an experimental batch that I made for a friend who is just getting into planting haskap at his U-Pick. I think it turned out very well.

Church shopping – advice from Screwtape

Monday, February 9th, 2009

You mentioned casually in your last letter that the patient has continued to attend one church, and one only, since he was converted, and that he is not wholly pleased with it. May I ask what you are about? Why have I no report on the causes of his fidelity to the parish church? Do you realise that unless it is due to indifference it is a very bad thing? Surely you know that if a man can’t be cured of churchgoing, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighbourhood looking for the church that “suits” him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches.
The reasons are obvious. In the first place the parochial organisation should always be attacked, because, being a unity of place and not of likings, it brings people of different classes and psychology together in the kind of unity the Enemy desires. The congregational principle, on the other hand, makes each church into a kind of club, and finally, if all goes well, into a coterie or faction. In the second place, the search for a “suitable” church makes the man a critic where the Enemy wants him to be a pupil. What He wants of the layman in church is an attitude which may, indeed, be critical in the sense of rejecting what is false or unhelpful, but which is wholly uncritical in the sense that it does not appraise—does not waste time in thinking about what it rejects, but lays itself open in uncommenting, humble receptivity to any nourishment that is going. (You see how grovelling, how unspiritual, how irredeemably vulgar He is!)  This attitude, especially during sermons, creates the condition (most hostile to our whole policy) in which platitudes can become really audible to a human soul. There is hardly any sermon, or any book, which may not be dangerous to us if it is received in this temper. So pray bestir yourself and send this fool the round of the neighbouring churches as soon as possible. Your record up to date has not given us much satisfaction.

C.S. Lewis – The Screwtape Letters

screwtapeI’m not sure if I entirely agree with that master devil Screwtape’s contempt for “the congregational principle”.  After all, I am currently serving on a committee that is into the process of searching for a pastor for our local church.  However I do think that Screwtape is onto something in his advice to the novice demon Wormwood.  Turning the followers of Jesus into critics rather than pupils is a very effective way to destroy the unity that “The Enemy” of the demons desires.

Atheism evangelism

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Last week the Mormons dropped by for a chat.

Now it’s the atheists.

I believe strongly in free speech and freedom of religion, so I don’t have a problem with either the Mormons or the atheists’  efforts to proselytize, nor any other group that wants to participate in the marketplace of ideas in a civil manner.

In fact I agree with Don Huchinson’s opinion column on – religious expression in the public square has been discouraged in the past, and this atheist bus campaign can start a healthy dialogue.