Thursday, June 29, 2006

Update on the Larsons

Summer has come! It's hot out and we are in camp mode once again. Kari is working full time at Squeah and adjusting to work demands, etc. while being 3 months pregnant. They are excited and expectant about the summer ahead. She is a part of a 3 person program team that will lead the staff through the summer and help make it a time focused on Jesus and the goals He has set before them.

For myself, because I will no longer be working for Kawkawa and my job is ending soon, I have decided to take work at a few different camps to help out where I can. I will be speaking at Ness Lake beginning week in July, Directing Nazarene Jun. teen camp mid July, speaking at Anvil Island camp after that, playing guitar and leading worship times for Nazarene family camp in Camp Harmattan in Alberta first week in August, and then Directing Nazarene Senior camp last weekend in August. I hope also to stop by at Pioneer Pacific Senior Co-ed, hike Mt. Baker, attend a cousins wedding and generally have a blast during this summer.

We're not sure of our future after the summer is over. Kari will finish her work in October and I will be done end of July. After that it's all a whole lot of trust in Jesus. Well, it is right now too. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers, calls and e-mails, etc. I have had many an opportunity for work but have not felt it the right time to move to something new yet.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Kingdom of God

"The Kingdom of God means the complete filling of the entire soul of intelligent creatures with the Holy Spirit." Simone Weil

What think ye?

Personally, I find this statement ringing truer in my ears as to the nature of the Kingdom of God as Jesus means it to be, or, more accurately put, as it is already.

It seems to me that I have, for a long time, considered the Kingdom of God as some type of all powerful, inpregnable force that would conquer by spiritual (military) might, the forces of darkness that pervade our society. It would conquer our culture and way of life with the sword (of the Spirit, of course)! Somehow I find myself sounding not much unlike Judas who asked Jesus: "But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?" or like Peter, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." or John and James, "Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory." Somehow thinking that I will be a part of an army fighting to help gain CONTROL and VICTORY.

And then I am faced with the words of Christ: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven." and "The Kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."

How far apart am I in my spiritual military view of God's Kingdom and its truth than with what it truly is and how it grows and is won. Am I not more like the Jews of the turn of the century who considered Jesus the ultimate military leader who no one would be able to stand against and who would, by great might, throw off the oppression of Rome? Am I selling myself far short of God's desire and plan by considering the Kingdom of God as such?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Soggy or crunchy

I prefer my cereal soggy as opposed to crunchy. How about you?

Saturday, June 17, 2006


I have an innate facsination with direction. I'm a geography major for primarily that reason. I greatly desire, in my inmost being, to know direction and to constantly have my bearings. To be orientated with the world around me, and with people around me. I do it naturally and without thought most of the time. Which way is north? That way. Then I must face this direction to get where I'm going. What emotion am I feeling? This one. Then I must take that course of action or acknowledge my heart condition to respond appropriately. In fact, most of us work at orientating ourselves with our environment. We have to both to survive and live a healthy life.

Because of my passion for direction and knowledge of place and surrounding relations I have studied to know the world around me in great depth and have prided myself in that knowledge. Like most men, I think I can get myself around a city or province or country without little difficulty or help from others. The difference is I have no objection to using a map. In fact, I LOVE using maps! My original career choice heading to the University of Victoria was, in fact, to become a Cartographer (maker of maps). Sounds maybe boring or monotonous to you, but to me ... exciting.

A question I get most often when asked about cartography is: 'Isn't the world already all discovered? Why make more maps??' You might even think it a reasonable question. But that is only the surface of what a map maker does (though for sure one of the most exciting - mapping and exploring new and uncharted lands). From there, the cartographer must continually improve upon the information he/she already has to make the map more and more accurate. For nothing will do apart from a perfect map. Which, I might add, is impossible to accomplish. There are no perfect maps. It's impossible. For many reasons ... but for two I will elaborate on here:

1) Maps are square sheets of paper with pictures depicting pieces of our earth. One of the greatest problems mappers have is putting our round (and not perfectly spherical. Our earth is actually eliptical) 3 dimensional planet onto a 2 dimensional square piece of paper. Imagine trying to peel an orange (representing the earth), but leaving all the peel intact as you take it off. Most of us have tried to do this before. Now take what you've peeled and make a perfect square out of it. You can't! You cannot, without squeezing, expanding, contracting or compressing the original parchment, create an exact replica of the earth on a square piece of paper. Actually, there is only one perfect map: the globe.

2) No map is perfect for another, more important reason: the earth is always changing and its detail is so infinite and its information so extensive, it is impossible to accurately portray what is EXACTLY on the earth's surface because we just cannot record or know all that information onto one map. Stare down at your own feet. You may be in a room with a hardwood floor. It may look fairly unchanging and easy to map. But in a few minutes you will move the chair on the floor to move away from the computer. In a few months you will rearrange the furniture. In a few years you will move. In a decade that house will be renovated and it's floor will change. In a few decades that house will be gone and likely a new one will take it's place. In a few minutes there will be another layer of dust where you're looking.

Map making is an art of impossible precision. Our world and its people and its nations are constantly on the move. The earth itself moves and we must be prepared to move with it and re-orient ourselves in our changing environment.

Thus I find myself, at times, in moments when I find it difficult and impossible to orient myself to my environment and surroundings. This is such a time. A time of no direction (as far as job and future home are concerned). I find I am frustrated and lost when the way seems foggy and unclear. It is a feeling I do not welcome. But I find it comes consistenly in life. And in these times I rest in my True North, my Compass, the only True Map ... my Lord and King Jesus Christ.

I also love to sail the ocean. I have a dear poem written for me by a friend from Victoria who somehow saw through to a depth of my person and touched on a part of my heart that stirs me and causes me to look beyond what I cannot see. When we cannot see the way ahead, let us stay true to the Compass that points ever North to our home.


“And he said, ‘No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord’”.
(Joshua 5:14)

“Those who go down to the sea in ships …
He guided them to their desired haven.”
(Psalm 107:23,30)

The ship is sailing north
The crew at the prow
Pull at the oars, deaf
As Argonauts in the Sirens’ strait.

A man is at the prow.
His ears are open.
He clenches his teeth
Against the siren-song, and stands.

At the skyline,
A sliver of turquoise:
The promise
Of land.

This fragment, this particle
As blue as peace,
Is lodged like glass in his heart.
The oarmen do not believe
Him. They say it is a trick of the air.

The leviathan moves its slow limbs
Beneath the sluggish sea,
The swollen planks of the ship.

The sea salt grimes the sails.
Black is the water,
The oarmen do not see.

“South, turn south” they call,
Blind to the skyline. Still
It reflects in the eyes of the prowman,
Whose compass is unchanging.

His limbs turn golden
In the light of the sun,
The rising and the setting
And the rising of the sun.
“North,” he commands
Above their cry
And the gentle fruit-sweet breeze
That echoes it
With dreams of gold, of red silk
Of almond eyes and cinnamon.

The sea goes on in vain. The helmsman
Clutches his compass. Beneath him
The behemoth grinds its gruesome jaw
And waits in the salt-spun spume.

And then – “Ahead!”
A rower at the starboard. His eyes
Roll with blue, the promise of land.

“His compass is true!”
And it lodges in the hearts of the oarsmen,
The shard, the turquoise gleam.

Brianna Leone Nyberg

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Poor in Spirit

"The One who knew said, 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.' Happy, that is, are those people who know that their spiritual power is small, that their creeds are imperfect, that their instruction concerning God and man is incomplete. Happy are those who know that they do not know all of truth. For only those who admit their spiritual poverty are willing to learn."

Agnes Sanford

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

All that is gold

'All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost.
The old that is strong does not wither;
Deep roots are not reached by the frost'



Last night my friends and my wife and I are driving home on the highway when we come upon 5 young women stranded just outside of Hope in what is obviously not a working vehicle. For no apparent reason their car had quit working for them. Not only that, the reason they were driving into Hope was one of them had broken her ankle (and it didn't look good). My friend Pat decided to pull off and help them so some of us got into his car and drove to the hospital. On the way there I was dropped off at my home to get MY car to return and retrieve the remainder persons stranded on the highway (including my friend Pat). After a short 30 second drive down my street, my car, which I lovinly call Howie, up and dies on me. For no apparent reason the engine just quit on me. Now I'm stranded and am pushing my car up the street at 11:00pm with my hazards on and that little 'beep ... beep ... beep' going off because I have to have the keys in the ignition and the door open to steer it as I push this 1/2 ton vehicle up the incline home.


Monday, June 05, 2006


It is an odd thing, hiding.

From the beginning of time, or at least, from the Fall of man, we have been hiding ourselves. We hide our bodies (and in so doing our shame), we hide our thoughts, we hide our intentions, we hide our motives, we hide our feelings, we hide our treasures, we hide from fear and shame and pain. We are constantly on the 'hide'.

Why is this? We are so accustomed to this verb and it's action that we do it without thinking. We are taught from a very young age that it is both good and right to hide ourselves from others. Especially from those we don't know. We hide to protect ourselves. Sometimes we even hide to hurt others. We call it the 'silent treatment'. And it's effects are very damaging.

And yet there is this other side to hiding that we can also relate with that is exciting! It's the action of finding that which is hidden. Discovery of new lands, building new relationships, falling in love, making friends, birth, finding buried treasure, solving a puzzle, finding an answer to a plaguing question, filling in the blanks. Why do games such as Sudoku and Crosswords have such a hold on my attention when I glance at a newspaper? I think perhaps because I have an inate desire to discover and uncover that which is hidden.

And I find this truth at work as well, that God is hidden and has hidden Himself from us. But it does not seem that He has hidden Himself very well. Because, by reason of His grace and friendship, I am able to see evidence of the invisible God all over the place! Now, as I wander about, no matter where on earth I am, I cannot escape the presence of God nor the marks He leaves from His work. In fact, with every person I meet I am reminded of the character and vitality and creativity and awesome magnitude of our God who cannot be seen. From my vantage point, it seems to me He is only hidden from those who are in hiding already. "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing ..."

We should spend more time finding God and less time hiding ourselves from Him and each other in my opinion. But I have spent a lifetime in hiding and fear and am only beginning to understand that in God's light there is no fear and that in full exposure of who I am to my core by His grace am I truly made alive and free. In truth I have nothing to hide and He sees me as a treasure found and He is my treasure that I will continue to discover for entirety of my life.