Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Father Daughter Dance

Over the weekend Sophie and I went to the Father Daughter Dance. We had a great time and I had the honor of having the prettiest date. :)

The dance itself was fun but I had a better time after the dance when we went on a night ride around the perimeter of the north part of the island. There are spots on the road where there are very few lights and on cloudless night you can see so many wonderful stars.

We pulled our bikes off the road, turned off our bike lights, we layed down with Sophie on my chest and we just looked at the sky. For the first time she got the chance to just gaze at the night sky in all its splendor and glory. What a marvellous sight our Maker has given us. While we sat there under a starry sky I told her the story of Abraham's call and how God told him to look at the night sky and that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars. It was indeed a holy and precious moment for me and I think to some degree for her. All she could say was that it was awesome.

It was awesome in the truest sense of the word. We felt awe and wonder at what God had made and what God maintains through his love and attention.

We continued our ride and would pull off to look at the ocean at night, hear the waves, smell the salt and get a little mist from the waves.

We eventually made our way to the lagoon side, looking for more views of the glorious sky before heading back to the paved road and our ride home to retire for the night.

I am grateful for the night and for her chance to see the stars.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Last night we had our service on Roi and by the time worship was over it was dark outside. As I exited the chapel I saw one of the most beautiful full moons I have ever seen. It was so bright and clear, it felt like it was giving off light rather than simply reflecting the sun.

I walked from the chapel to the edge of the beach and simply stood and stared at the beauty of the moon reflecting off the ocean. The waves made the moonlight ripple as the soft light glowed and danced across their soft waves. The wind was blowing in the palm trees and the waves made their rhythms of natural music. It was a very special night.

It came at such a convenient time as I had just read an author who was encouraging her readers to slow down and really see the gift God has given in creation. She wanted us to see the gift and to receive the gift the God has given. As a recipient of this gift we are to be filled with joy and thankfulness for the generosity of the gift and graciousness of the giver.

The night made receiving the gift easy. I felt and awe at how wonderful God made the night and how privileged I was to receive the gift. It is not a gift to be grabbed or owned. The gift is simply the moment and it leaves a memory of graciousness, wonder and awe.

These moments aren't limited to Roi, they are all around. So much of life is simply learning to see what is right there. Sometimes it is just easier....

Monday, February 14, 2011

Fish Sighting

Last weekend we took the kids to one of the beaches called Coral Sands. Normally we go there because the wave action is a little higher and the kids can play in the surf. On Sunday, the waves were calm and so the visibility was good.

We put the kids in life vests and goggles and swam them out a little ways so they could see the fish. It was wonderful for the kids to see some fish and the beauty of the ocean. Each kid was able to see some clownfish and a few other species, they were thrilled.

There is something about being in nature and seeing wildlife in their natural environment that is special and good for the soul. It is so different for the children to see the fish in the ocean as compared to the aquarium.

As I think about the shaping of the human heart and human life I am increasingly convinced that being in nature and experiencing God's creation is central to being human. We are created by God and in the image of God for the purpose of caring for and stewarding God's creation and therefore we must be in that creation. We must look, see and observe the beauty and wonder of what God has made.

We do this not to deify creation, but to take delight and joy in the Creator and magnificence of his creation. We worship the Creator, not creation. Creation points to the magnificence of the Creator. We care for nature out of love for God and in response to God's love for us.

I am also growing increasing concerned in the digital age that children are growing up not experiencing God in creation and are growing up less human because of it. I hope in the future we will see congregations and their members taking up the challenge to get our kids in creation so they will have an experience of God that he gives while we are in His creation.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Water Polo Update

We had our first game last night. The team we played was the former league champion with some of the best players in the league on it. We had a great time and Kim played well, being our teams highest female scorer. In the end we lost but it was a close game.

Often people will ask me or ask Kim if we like it here on Kwaj. That is a normal and fine question. However another question that is rarely asked is "what are you thankful for on Kwaj". This is the question that can move beyond likes and dislikes to a more soulful level where our heart is formed. If our sense of self or life is tied to our likes and dislike then we will find that our life is like a roller coaster with lots of ups and downs. Actually there are often more dislikes than likes so the dips are often deeper than the ups, making us and those around us unhappy.

If however we cultivate gratefulness then we find that our lives have a grounding that goes deeper and allows us to weather the ups and downs of life. So yes we like water polo but we are thankful for the opportunity to play on a sports team together, something we have never done in our marriage.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Holy Moments

It is good to have holy moments. These are times when one senses the wonder and grandeur of God and feels a closeness to God's presence in the world. I tend to have a holy moment every Saturday morning on my way to the airport on Roi.

I am up before sunrise and I walk to the airport rather than taking the shuttle. At that time of day there are very few people on the road and there is something about walking alone, early in the morning under a starry sky along the ocean that creates for me a holy moment. The only sounds are the wind and the waves and the simple abundance of stars is magnificent.

The walk only takes about 15 minutes and sometimes I wish it would take hours, but that would defeat the point. Holy moments are just that, moments. They are times of refreshment and renewal that ground us again in the reality of God's presence in this world. To grab on to them would no longer make them holy, for they are simply a gift given, to be received with open hands.

The gift of these moments lingers in the heart and in the soul and they become a source of strength and grounding. The funny thing about holy moments is that they abound in life. God is not stingy with the gift of these moments, we are just often too busy or distracted to see what is there in front of us. That is why it takes time away to see again the wonder of what is now.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Water Polo

On Saturday Kim and I will be attending a meeting for new players and officials in the annual inner tube water polo league. Yes, we are on a team playing weekly matches of inner tube water polo. You may ask what is inner tube water polo? I have no real clue.

From what I can gather you use the inner tube to float and then play a version of water polo. Our friends who told us about Kwaj are the ones who got us on their team. I am not sure if that was a good move on their part, only time will tell. From what I am told it is super fun and very competitive. They have playoffs and one team us crowned champion... Nowhere else but on Kwaj...

I am excited, it will be one of those fun life experiences and I will keep you posted on our success or perhaps failure...

I am still surfing each week and last weekend I caught a few good waves. It is so fun catching a wave well and getting a good ride. It doesn't happen for me all that often yet but when it does it is cool.