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February Update

March 1, 2014

What a cold and busy month! Here’s the professional and personal breakdown for February.

Professionally:Image

– The February edition of Forcing Change magazine was released with two articles and an essay. The first article was a piece on Christian dissent written by a guest author, and the other asked questions about false positions and the importance of truth. The essay was titled “Greening the Christian Community” and examined how churches and congregations were brought into the ecology movement during the 1970s. It’s an important essay in that it explores how Christendom was leveraged to accept and promote a green political and spiritual collectivism. If you haven’t read this eye-opening edition of Forcing Change magazine, sign up today and download a copy!

– Later in the month I worked on a revised draft of my essay, “Evangelical Christian Critique of Religious Transhumanism,” which was submitted to the Mormon Transhumanist Association (MTA) for inclusion in their collection of papers based on the 2013 conference of the MTA. If anything it was a good exercise as it compelled me to review Mormon beliefs and compare and contrast this with Old and New Testament teachings. In particular, I was drawn to examine the Genesis 3 account of humanity’s fall in more detail, and the incredible relevance of Genesis 1-3 regarding the work of Jesus Christ. There is an inseparable connection between Genesis and the Messiah.

– Spent time doing research work at the University of Manitoba. I really wish I could take two days out of each month to utilize the UofM stacks; what a gold mine of information and data!

– Media interviews in February included guest appearances on two radio shows; His People (out of Nevada) and Erskine Overnight (out of Arizona). I was also interviewed for an hour-long episode of America’s Survival TV, and the conversation circled around internationalism and the role of Kazakhstan, along with touching on the historical backdrop to developments in the Ukraine.

Personally:

– Our children, Scott and Austin, participated in the Manitoba Provincial Honour Choir in Winnipeg. Scott was with the adult section and Austin with the Senior High-School group. This was a fantastic experience of stretching the vocal chords, working with new conductors, and interacting with the provincial arts community. Furthermore, both had the opportunity of singing in an unofficial reunion of the Central Manitoba Youth Choir in Winnipeg’s Westworth United Church.

– Leanne and myself were able to attend a private, Chinese New Year’s celebration in Winnipeg with families who had adopted children from China. Besides the mountain of food, we were treated to ethnic songs and dances – including a dragon dance – and a special performance of the Sichuan Performing Troupe from China’s Sichuan Province.

– Scott and I, along with two others, managed to make two runs down abandoned Mount Agaissiz. This former ski resort, with the longest runs between Thunder Bay, Ontario, and the Rocky Mountains, was shut down in 2000. After making the trek to the base, we climbed through powder deep snow (sometimes up to our waist) to a point about 1/4 way up the chairlift side and then made our runs. It was a lot of work but certainly worth the effort! For Scott it was a chance to finally ski Manitoba’s famed hill, for myself and the other two, a reunion with a very special place.

– Leanne’s big project for the month was organizing and helping to run the Gladstone Speech Arts Festival. This event hosts youth who compete in poetry, drama, prose reading, impromptu speaking and monologues. Austin competed and placed well enough to merit advancement to the Provincial Speech Arts Competition this coming the spring. Way to go!

– Leanne and I were judges for local 4-H speech competitions; once in Neepawa where we both acted in this capacity, and Leanne judged another time in the town of Gladstone. There’s some wonderful talent in both communities, and the competitions are a great way of exposing young people to public speaking.

– Besides missing one day due to blizzard-blocked roads, Scott participated in a local Men’s Curling Bonspiel. And of course we occasionally tuned into the Sochi Winter Olympics, cheering on our Canadian athletes.

– Leanne and Austin sang a duet in church one morning, and we helped the church Program Committee set up the Pastor Appreciation pot-luck; a good time of food and fellowship!

– February was cold and snowy, and with the ditches higher than the roads we found ourselves blown in and unable to travel past our yard multiple times during the month. At one point Leanne was able to leave for a work shift in the early morning but by lunch the roads were closed due to heavy drifting. Later that afternoon she was able to park our truck in Plumas, our village three miles away, and catch a ride back to our yard in a front-wheel assist tractor.

Books Read:

– Barry Hankins, Francis Schaeffer and the Shaping of Evangelical America (Eerdmans Publishing, 2008). An interesting biography and survey of Schaeffer and his work, including helpful criticisms and challenges.

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Snowdrifts on the east side of the yard.

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Huge drifts on the east side of the farm yard. In the background you can see round bales, stacked two high, covered in drifts.

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Towing friends during a little ski adventure.

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Having fun on Mount Agassiz.

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