Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Mortal Sin

No treatise on unforgivable sins or theology...

I have recently completely immersed myself into beer geekery and completed my first beer trade. The object of my lust was a beer brewed and sold in Quebec and not available in this fine province (or any other besides Quebec for that matter). It is Dieu de Ciel`s Peche Mortel (Mortal Sin).

The description of this beauty is: The Péché Mortel is an intensely black and dense beer with very pronounced roasted flavours. Fair-trade coffee is infused during the brewing process, helping to intensify the bitterness of the beer and giving it a powerful coffee taste.

It currently ranks online as the number 1 beer in Canada and 13th in the world. Serious business.

Along with it, I got a number of fine brews not available here in BC in trade for some fine BC brews.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Muslims and Jesus

Here's some interesting excerpts from an interview with a guy named Carl Medearis who wrote this book. He makes some interesting remarks worth noting.

What do Muslims think of when they hear the word "Christian"?
They might think of freedom, capitalism, liberty, democracy. But they also confuse it with Hollywood movies, pornography, and divorce. We export dysfunctional families, books and websites that export filth around the world, and sadly, when Muslims look at that they think of Christians. In Beirut there was an actual line drawn between what was called Muslim West Beirut and Christian East Beirut. If you wanted to gamble or do drugs, guess where you went? To the "Christian side."

What does a Muslim think of when they hear the word "Jesus"?
There's immediate respect. They may not believe as we do that he is the Son og God, but in the Qur'an Jesus is mentioned some 90 times, all of them positive.... He did miracles, he lived a pure and sinless life.... If a Muslim says to me, "I believe in Jesus; he's a great prophet," instead of saying, "Yeah, but..." I say, "That's fantastic. Let's talk about him."

What do you say when asked if you are religious?
I say "Absolutely not!" I used to be. There's a lot of great stuff that comes out of religion, like boundaries, rules to live by.... But what matters is this: Have you seen Jesus for who he really is?

You say Christians need to learn to have fun.
I've found that laughter and hanging out over food and friends anywhere in the world opens the hearts of people. If you don't know how to party, get help from someone who does.

Many have not experienced the success* at leading people to Jesus that you have. What is your secret?
I think that many missionaries have the wrong message: Christianity is better than Islam and you should switch.... I don't build friendships in order to share the gospel. I just build friendships because I love people....I don't start with differences, I honor the culture and try to fit in...

* This word drives me nuts in the missional context. Success! As in we judge our work by the numbers, the converted, the baptized, etc... rather than if we are showing Christ's love. The drive for numbers is what pushes the religion - not Christ!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Leap of Faith?

Many people compare taking the vow of marriage to jumping off of a cliff into the unknown - the leap of faith, come what may. But, in fact, jumping off a cliff doesn't lead into the unknown; we all know what happens to someone who jumps off of a cliff - the result is inevitable and unavoidable. Too often marriages are indeed cliff jumps and end in disaster. I think marriage is more akin to staying on that cliff, come what may. Come storm, come earthquake, come sunrise and sunset, come changing seasons - no matter what comes your way you're going to hang on to that cliff. Hanging on, not letting go, leads to the greater unknown.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Daija's Top 20 Random Things

1. I like to suck in my bottom lip and howl like a coyote at the moon.

2. I like to play with my feet. My mommy keeps hoping I am going to suck on my toes and thinks the only reason I haven't is because I can't. Ha! I can, but who wants to suck on their toes? How is that cute? Also, I don't do well under pressure.

3. I like to drink milk. Especially after mommy has had pizza for dinner.

4. Today I am 3 months and 11 days old.

5. Daddy always makes funny noises so I will smile. He keeps waiting for me to laugh but he's going to have to be a little more creative than funny sounds to make me laugh. Maybe something along the lines of a dance routine or trying to sing 4 part harmony by himself...

6. This week I sat for the first time in my Bumbo.

7. This week I also had my first cold. Sitting in the Bumbo was way cooler than the cold.... so why is is a cold?

8. I know how to roll over. I don't do it very often because I don't want to set expectations too high. I think my mommy and daddy need all the help they can get.

9. I wear cloth diapers in fun colors. I'm the hippest kid on the block though they all make fun of my gigantic bum. I just tell them I'm working on my ghetto booty.

10. I love the bath so much I would stay in until my whole body turned into a raisin.

11. When I smile (and I do this lots), I smile with my whole face. My mommy and daddy like it when my eyes crinkle up as a I smile.

12. I have a bald spot (baby pattern baldness) and my mommy is semi-secretly ashamed of it.... so I'm outing her (I'm learning from Obama's name-and-shame tactics).

13. I like it when my daddy changes my diaper because he makes up songs or raps to me. The other day he came up with, "I'm a little pooper short and stout, here is my bum and look what comes out"... that one almost made me laugh.

14. I play hard all day but when it comes night time I like to sleep. 7-9 hours is my average but on occasion I like to do more. A girl like me needs her beauty sleep.

15. My favorite thing to suck on is my fist. Though sometimes I gag myself. I still haven't figured out how to stop doing that...

16. Mommy wants my first word to be mama, daddy wants my first word to be dada, so as not disappoint one of them I've been working on something great like, "Show me the money!!" to be the first thing I say.

17. My favorite toy is my soft blocks which I like to suck on. Sometimes I get upset when I can't get the whole thing in my mouth. I think this might be because my mommy told me that if I set my mind to it anything is possible. I'm telling you, getting that whole block in my mouth is NOT possible.

18. My favorite friend is Leilani. She's a couple months older than me but I'm pretty sure she doesn't hold that against me. She sucks on her toes. I hold that against her.

19. I get the most upset when my hat comes over my eyes. Or when the Flames lose.... it's a toss-up I guess.

20. My favorite time in the whole world is when my mommy sings me a lullaby before bed. I love my mommy. And my daddy's all right too.... I guess.

Friday, February 13, 2009

12 and a half

Wow, it has been quite a while since I posted.... guess there hasn't been any real exciting things to post about so I just haven't. Nothing really exciting right now either but in attempt to keep writing I shall become a small white fluffy mammal and post some rather boring and perhaps vaguely interesting things about me for your perusal. Enjoy these 12 and a half facts about me.

1. I would consider myself a beer connoisseur. But the fact that I had to use the spell check to spell connoisseur makes me doubt this fact already. I am currently trying to track down some of the great beers of the world according to Beer Advocate and have had 2 of the Top 100 (which were both downright delicious!) So if you're going to the States and aren't coming back with your allotted amount of alcohol - stop reading this and email me! I'm also tasting some great local brews, so anyone in Victoria should stop by and sample some with me (Yes, I'm thinking of you Bing - I already told Andy to get himself over here too).

2. The Calgary Flames are the greatest sports team in the world. I cannot lie. I vaguely remember watching them win the Stanley Cup in 1989 ( I was six) and I mark this date as the beginning of my love affair with them.

3. While I do not yet consider myself a true globe trotter, someday I hope to be. There are so many places on my to-see list and hopefully as we live abroad I can actually see some of them.

4. In a similar vein, I have a fascination with maps. A large world map hangs in my office. I often just sit and study it. I can name all 53 African countries. I have tried to sit down and name all the countries of the world but I think I could only get around 115 of them. Some day.

5. I have a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature. Who chooses to study literature? Seriously, what was I thinking? If I could have a do-over I would do my degree in History or Sociology or something that translated into a real-life Masters a little easier.

6. I am an avid reader. I also read very fast. These two facts mean I often read in the range of 50-80 books a year, many of them fairly dense history or theory books.

7. I spend way too much online. Most of the time, I really am just wasting time. Reading about beer. Checking the hockey scores. Browsing Facebook. How did people learn before the internet?

8. I like the idea of being a life-long learner. I don't like the idea that life-long learners don't really make too much money.

9. I love and hate conversation. I find small talk generally distasteful. I also find discussions with close-minded people equally un-fun. But few things are finer than conversations with open-minded, interesting individuals. Or chewing the fat with friends. Over coffee or a beer. Ahhh, sweet delights.

10. I enjoy playing games. Card games, board games, sports, fantasy sports, whatever. You get to be social and let out positive competitiveness, while being strategic and devious. And let's not forget the joys of smack talk.

11. I love listening to music. I like it a lot. If there was one thing I could change about me it would be to give me a silky smooth voice and limitless natural musical talent so I could just make my own music to listen to.

12. There is something about Africa that calls to me and yet, due to my skin color, where I was born, etc... I will always be an outsider. Sometimes I just wish I was African.

12 1/2. I enjoy cooking new, interesting, fancy things. Part of the joy is in the creation, the other part is in the good eating. Nolana likes it that I enjoy cooking (see, only half about me!)

Well, I hope that you enjoyed the wasted minutes spent reading this!