Saturday, May 26, 2007

There goes my story!

I was the first writer to ever interview Candace Derksen's best friend Heidi. And what a great interview! A Christian Week Manitoba exclusive. I was so excited about this story....until I saw it in today's Free Press!

Apparently Heidi enjoyed talking with me too - so much that she found the courage to finally share her story in the media spotlight. (Comparatively, Christian Week is more of a night light.) I'm very happy for Candace's friends and family that the truth about Candace's disappearance and her faith is getting out there.

But what am I supposed to write now!

My brain keeps sending me the message, "Give Up!" (interspersed with "Go take a nap," "You need chocolate," and "Why are you wasting time blogging?) I was already stressed and stretch to my limit this week and now I have to start from scratch.

Anyway, I just wanted someone to know that no matter how my story looks in the July Christian Week Manitoba, I did not copy the Free Press. I may have the last story, but I did the first interview. So there!

Deep breath. "God, keep me calm and focused. Give me a unique focus for this story that will bring you glory, something the Free Press couldn't or wouldn't say."

Now to find that chocolate.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

An organ transplant

This morning a delivery truck unloaded 25 square feet of church organ into my rec room. And all of heaven laughed a big snorty whooping laugh.

I took organ lessons for 8 years of my childhood. I practiced hymns and Beatles tunes (I was the first to play the "Jeremiah was a bullfrog - Guide me O Thou Great Jehovah" medley) for 1/2 an hour on weekdays, and then washed the tears from the keys every Saturday. For me the words "organ lessons" are right up there with "impacted wisdom teeth" and "Autopac claim centre." My anguished cries to the Almighty of "Why? Why do I have to play organ?" bounced off the stucco ceiling, only to be eternally lost in the golden shag beneath my pedals.

Then God gave me an Aspie son whose fixation happens to be organs.

K. walked to school alone for the first time today so I could wait for the truck. When I picked him up for lunch he grabbed my hand and literally dragged me all the way home. "Come on, I want to play my organ!" The irony is killing me.

This monster of a music machine is so worn out it's almost as noisy when you're not playing it. It's missing a key and the pedals sound like transmissions to another planet.

And my son thinks he's died and gone to heaven, or at least Disneyworld. Anyone know a good organ teacher? Maybe I still remember how to play "I believe in Yesterday."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Here lies a devoted wife, mother, and professional development junkie

Every day, with everything I do, I'm writing something. Not my diary, not even my resume. No, not even another Christian Week assignment.

It's my obituary.

Okay, not literally. But I'm very conscious of the legacy I'm leaving behind. Like Mandy Moore's character in the movie A Walk to Remember, I have a growing list of things I'd like to accomplish, experience, or become before I die. (I scribbled "going just one whole day without nasal allergies" off my list long ago - it seems that just ain't going to happen!)

This week I checked off two of them. First, I was asked to teach a Bible College course on Apocalyptic Literature (the area of my thesis research). Just call me "professor Ange."

And, I found out today that I won my first writing award, for a reflection I wrote in the MB Herald called "The sweet smell of simplicity" (see link). "She will be remembered as a writer, no - an award-winning writer!" I know I'm being silly, but sometimes a girl's gotta celebrate!

I can get carried away with the titles. When I'm dead will it matter to anyone whether I was a freelancer, a correspondent, or a columnist? Does anyone ask me my grade point average or words per minute at the grocery store? (They haven't, but next time you run into me at the meat counter and I'm not in a hurry, feel free.)

Just before someone does write my obituary, I'll be standing before God without a certificate, trophy, job title or congratulatory note to hide behind. I don't think he'll begrudge me my joy in the things I experienced on my list, but I know he will have more important things to ask me.

Like: Who am I to you? And who are you, without all of that? Did you graduate life with honours, or with honour?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Gospel according to CSI

A while back I published a review called "The Gospel according to Oprah" (see link) which got a bunch of people riled up. I got emails such as:

"Oprah believes there are many ways to heaven and that it is ridiculous to think that you could only get to heaven by believing in Jesus. For the Christian, I have a problem with a woman with that much power deceiving people to not follow Christ!"

"She has encouraged women to continue living in sin by hi-five’ing them when they said they didn’t want to marry their live in lovers. Who knows how many women that watch the show have been encouraged to do the same?"

"I encourage you to go to your research feeling positively recharged with confidence, motivation and hope after spending time with your Heavenly Father, not Oprah."

Which sort of miss the point, because I wrote in the review that I too don't agree with everything Oprah teaches. I just wanted Christians to build on the good she does and learn from her success.

I'm going to take another risk and say we can learn truth from Crime Scene Investigation.

The fact that I've actually seen CSI, let alone become addicted to all three series is shocking, since The Muppets Take Manhattan gave me nightmares. Please don't take this as an encouragement to watch - many episodes are too twisted and disturbing, and all of them aren't for everybody. However, I think the fact that I watch more action on TV is a good sign because it reflects a shift in my character. I'm not a weepy movie person anymore because instead of crying over my own life I've started taking action.

So here is some truth I see in CSI:

You can plot, purge and lie through your teeth, but you can't hide the evidence you leave. Wherever we go we leave things behind - hair, fingerprints and our mark on other people. Jesus said our heavenly Father sees what is done in secret. Some day we will have to account for what we've done. The great thing is we had access to the best Advocate available, but he'll only speak to the Judge for us if we're willing to plead guilty.

Evil actions always start with evil thoughts. What's really scary about CSI aren't the reenactments of the crime, but how like me the criminals are. Jesus said, "Anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement and anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell" because murder always starts with a thought. A jealous, vengeful, angry, superior, lustful, or greedy thought. Thoughts every one of us have had. When the Bible says, "Above all else, guard your heart" it's a life and death matter.

The Good outsmarts and outlasts and basically makes ground turkey out of the Bad. On CSI the good guys don't give up until they have solved the case, no matter how convoluted, and confronted the perpertrator with his responsibility. That's what I like about the Bible's book of Revelation: Good wins, Evil dies. It seems like the bad guys have the biggest guns and the longest knives, but in the end crime doesn't pay.