Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Merry

Today is December 25, which is celebrated as Christmas, even by some people in the Messianic movement. As someone from a Jewish home, I sometimes feel left out on this day, when all my friends are either busy or out of town. So, I stocked up on a few movies, some beverages of choice, and am going to spent time reading, listening to music, and even getting into the Bible later on.

My biggest hope and prayer is that people remember the real meaning of today. Whether or not it has pagan origins, whether or not the date is wrong -- today is about faith, and about peace. It's about gifts, but not the materialistic kinds. It's about a gift so precious it cost someone His life, so that we may have life eternal.

Happy Yom Yeshua!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Shabbat, Yesterday. Joy and Pain.

Yesterday was a very full day. It started off with me over-sleeping -- totally accidentally, of course. I've been so wiped with my daily activities that I now find it more difficult to arise at 7:30 on a Saturday morning than I did years ago. So I rushed around to get everything together, and when I got to the church, realized I forgot my guitar tuner. Tuning to the piano was not difficult, except for the fact that piano tends to always be slightly out of tune. I was also the only instrumentalist, as our usual worship leader was out of town, another was home resting, and the person who was schedule to lead is out indefinitely with a wrist injury (please pray for him -- he is in a lot of pain and this affects his livelihood).

This was the first service in a long time that I was actually able to sit through from start to finish, since I did not have any other events or commitments to which I had to attend. Afterwards, a group of us went out for lunch -- something else I have not been able to do in ages since I tend to take off early.

After lunch, I went to a nearby church which had an extensive display of Nativity scenes from around the world, and made in different mediums (one of my favourites was the one made out of a Mechano set. I recently got a new cell phone and my wall paper is a wood carving from Israel, a piece of modern art representing Joeseph and Mary holding baby Yeshua.

I left the church around 4, and walked down Candy Cane Lane, not fully dark or lit up yet. Actually, the longer I walked the darker it got. I was the only one on the street, and it was a necessary solitary experience. I needed the alone time. This time of year is proving to be harder for me than I expected. Not just because most of my friends are either away or busy. Not just because I feel left out, having to stay home while everyone else is out having fun on december 25. But mostly because I think back to the friend I lost back in March, and how this time of year was so important to him, and how he would be enjoying things, and how he can't and won't again. I rarely cry in public, but right before worship yesterday morning, I literally had tears rolling down my face.

When we are single, our friends sometimes become like our family. I lost a family member this past year. It hurts.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Extreme Activism

Yesterday was the "Funeral for the Earth," a protest organized for the International Day of Action on Climate Change. Edmonton took part with 35 other cities across the country, and Canada with other countries around the world as world leaders gathered in Bali on this very topic during the UN Climate Change Negotiations.

It is December in Edmonton, and today was one of the coldest days of the past few weeks. The irony that we were protesting climate change (in particular, global warming) when it was -30 celcius this morning was not lost on us, as we shivered, jumped up and down, and wore multiple layers to stay warm.

"This is extreme activism," I said to one of the Raging Grannies, before things got rolling.

I wore two pairs of socks. I could not find the thermal sports socks I have stashed away here somewhere, but two layers of normal socks did the trick. Below, I wore thermals, in addition to my cords and normal underwear. On top, was a long-sleeved blouse under a sweater, a long coat, a my famous pink Anarchy symbol knitted hat that I always wear to protests in the colder weather.

We marched from Canada Place to the Legislature, which is not a short route. But the bright sun kept things as warm as they could be, and we were moving at a fast pace. No cops to be seen - that was a surprise. I was running in and out of the crowd as I always do at these events, taking pictures and film. My biggest challenge was caused by the two layers of knitted gloves on my hands. Operating a camera is hard enough with one pair of gloves, let alone two.

There was an impressive turnout despite the cold temperatures, with about 150 people. I didn't freeze. I was especially concerned because the Legislature steps tend to be chilly to start with, but considering what goes on in there and the kind of givernment we have, that should come as no surprise. However, as far as I could tell, no one suffered from frostbite or hypothermia. The Raging Grannies and Notre Dame des Bananes sung, speakers led a service as the Earth was laid to rest, and the batteries in my camcorder just barely held out -- cold makes batteries drain faster. I'll get the pics and vids up in the next day or so.