Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Favorite Part of Handel's Messiah

For many people listening to or going to see Handel's Messiah performed is part of their holiday traditions. Although it is not part of my holiday traditions, it is something I very much enjoy. I have heard it performed live with full accompaniment once, but do not have a version of it on CD at this point. For many people the high point of the Messiah is the Hallelujah Chorus. I have sung it when I was in choir in high school, but it was never my favourite. This is my favourite:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wonderful Hymns

I am always looking for new, theologically sound worship music. I say that because there are so many contemporary worship songs that while generally good, are often not that deep and sometimes have things with theologically are questionable. Well today while reading over at the Ref21 blog Phil Ryken posted a link for Church Works Media. I went there to see what I could see, and what did I find but selection of wonderful new hymns which seem to be fairly easy to sing. Best of all, they have wonderfully deep content that points one to the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. If you are interested, I encourage you to check it out.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Take Comfort, God Is Coming -- Isaiah 40:1-11

Life is filled with trouble. Where can a person find comfort? In this sermon we look at what Isaiah 40 has to say in answer to that.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I have been working on tiding up the video/digital audio recording area in the church I serve. To achieve that I needed to put a table up there, and with a little searching I found one in a storage room in the basement of the church building. However, after dragging it upstairs, by myself (I did it alone by choice, I work better at things like this alone). I started to unfold the legs only to discover why it had been in the storage room in the basement rather that out in the fellowship hall being used. The one leg was broken. No problem I though, it is metal and I have a welder I can just weld it. So I took it off the table, brought it home, and got out the small MIG welder. After getting everything set up and cleaning the area that needed to be welded, I geared up to start welding, and . . . the wire wouldn't feed. I checked the tip (sometime it can get welded to it) but it was free. Checked a few other places, and could not figure it out. Tried re-feeding the wire, it jammed, and jammed and jammed until it actually came out near the welder ripping the sleeve. Frustrated I went inside. After a rest I got the welder and tried again inside with my darling wife's help. The wire fed through. I took it back to the garage to weld. It jammed. Then I saw the problem, the tube it should go through had somehow come loose. After a little fiddling I got it jury rigged to work and got the welding done. Thank-you God. Now I still need to get the legs back on the table, and get things organized. I also need to take the welder back to Princess Auto and see if they will stand behind their product. Now to see if I can find the receipt.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Canadian Political Crisis

As I write this the three opposition parties made up of the slightly left of centre Liberals who garnered the lowest popular vote in the history of their party because of their weak leader, the NDP, a highly socialist party whose economic stands were attacked by all parties in the recent election as dangerous to the health of Canada's economy, and the Bloc Quebcois, a party whose only vote base is in Quebec and whose primary goal is the separation of Quebec from Canada; have decided to form a coalition government and over through the minority Canadian Progressive Conservative party.

Here are my thoughts. First, I am tired of the opposition parties and their supporters saying that the Conservatives are partisan. Of course they are, but what the other parties and their supporters seem to be completely blind to is that they are just as partisan in their stand. The issue is not being partisan. In fact if the person I elected to parliament was not partisan I would start to wonder why I voted for them. I want them to stand on their ideology. I voted for them because of that, and I assume those of other political views voted for their candidates because they supported their ideology. If that was not the case, why did you bother to vote. Second, I am tired of the repeated statement that the majority of Canadians who voted did not vote for the Canadian Progressive Conservatives. That is a meaningless number unless the parties in the attempted overthrow had run on the possibility of forming a coalition, especially a coalition with the Bloc Quebecios. Based on many of the poles out there, there are many Canadians, including those who voted for the Liberal and NDP who are unhappy with this coalition because either they see it a compromising the ideas of the party they supported or they see it as making the BQ the power brokers in this country. Not something that anyone who is a federalist would consider a good idea.

Moving on, I am dead set against this coalition. First and most importantly because it will give a party that is merely regional and which has as its primary goal the destruction of Canada by having Quebec separate from Confederation. The Liberals used to be lead by staunchly federalist leaders such a Pierre Elliot Trudeau. While I disagreed with those leaders on many points of policy, I agreed strongly with them in their federalist stand. However, it seems that all that has went out the window. Federalism means nothing if the current leader and members see a way to take power, even if that means getting in bed with the BQ. Listening to Stephan Dion responding to that point today on CPAC made me realize he is either horribly blind to what he is doing to the point of being deluded, or he simply does not care that this move will give power and impetus to the sovereigntist movement in Quebec.

Second, the coalitions is proposing a supposed economic stimulus package focused mainly on the auto sector and the forestry sector. What this does is beg the question, how precisely this will stimulate the economy? I would assume it would be meant to keep the big 3 auto companies producing cars so they don't temporarily or permanently close factories and that the forestry industry can continue to harvest trees and produce lumber. My question is who is going to purchase these vehicles and this lumber? The vast majority of what we produce in both of these areas is produced for consumption South of the border. Until the USA gets their economy to the point where the people can get loans to purchase cars and build houses no matter what we produce it will not have any market and will do nothing but drive prices down further.

Third, at this point Canada is the envy of the other developed countries because our economy is weathering this world wide economic "crisis" so well. We are one of the few who is still seeing growth, small though it be, in our economy in spite of the fact that our economy is highly dependant on export to countries who are in recession or who are seeing negative economic growth. We have much stimuli in the economy already thanks to the foresight of the current government, and while additional stimuli may be needed that would be the business of a budget which is well thought out, not an economic update.

Finally, the thing that has these three parties and their supporters so angry was the proposal to remove the $1.95/vote support from tax monies for political parties in Canada. In other words, they want their entitlement. I realize some will say this is how we can avoid large corporations from influence pedalling, however, is that really the case. We already has limits on donations that can be made by corporations or individuals, and that is a valid way to limit that sort of manipulation. Additional rules in that area might be needed, but the $1.95/vote will do nothing to stop that. Even more than that, it seems that the Liberal party has shown a great many ways to get money to themselves in the past in less that legal ways. In fact that whole scandal was part of the reason they were voted out of government. Their concern is that they will lose what they see as their entitlement. However, they are not entitled to this money. It belongs to the Canadian tax payer and should never have been given to any political parties. Besides, why should tax payer money go to support a party that wants to destroy the country. Parties should raise their own monies from their own supporters. If they are not willing to give, then perhaps they are not a committed to that party as they claim to be.

I am hoping to get out and protest this travesty of a coalition that makes the BQ the power brokers. I have no issue if they bring down the government, but if they do I want an election to see if they still have the support of their base now that they have cozied up to the BQ. Right now the only thing uniting these three parties is their loathing of Stephen Harper, if they get him out of power there is no unity in their ideologies so ultimately they will fall to a confidence vote.

Go to Rally for Canada to see where protests will be held this coming Saturday (December 6th.) I'm planning on being in London, ON in front of City hall to show my opposition to this coalition.

Also, consider writing a respectful letter to the Governor General of Canada. A good template can be found here.