Do You Want to Be Made Well?

April 12, 2014


Excellent piece, particularly poignant for me as two years ago today was when I was transferred to the rehab hospital after almost three weeks in ICU and hospital.

Originally posted on chaplainjesuslady:


Sometimes I get to the point where I think I’ve seen it all. And then I walk into a patient’s room to see several leeches on him. I’ll admit, I got a little woozy. In theory, I knew that leeches are still used in modern medicine, but I had never actually seen it until recently. I’m guessing this is not what the patient expected when he checked into a Western hospital in the year 2014. But healing can take some unexpected, and rather uncomfortable, paths.

In the fifth chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus encounters a man who has been ill for thirty-eight years, and asks him what always seemed to me a ridiculous question: “Do you want to be made well?”Um, of course he does, Jesus! That’s why he’s there with all the other sick people at the pool that’s supposed to have magical healing properties. I mean, honestly, what…

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Twitter for BlackBerry 10 Updated

December 20, 2013


The Joys Of Technology: It’s really encouraging (NOT) to check out this blog post on an update I installed the other day, only to see that it has issues and has been withdrawn. I’m glad that Blaq is my preferred Twitter client on my phone, or I’d be pursuing the “downgrade”. (I believe this is the first time I’ve used that particular word in this context.)

Originally posted on Inside BlackBerry:

Twitter v 10.2.2 is now available for download in the BlackBerry World storefront — 02/06/2014

The Holidays are an important time for communicating. Whether you’re checking in with loved ones, or staying connected with friends around the globe, we’ve updated the Twitter app for BlackBerry 10 to make it that much better. Designed to be the best way to stay connected to Twitter on your BlackBerry 10 device, the Twitter app for BlackBerry 10 v10.2.2 comes packed with new features:

Twitter v 10.2.2 Highlights:

Twitter Screenshots for BlackBerry 10

  • Home Timeline Photo Preview – Tweets with Twitter photos let you be part of the moment. Image thumbnails are now displayed on the Home timeline for all images – just tap the image to reveal the full screen version.
  • BBM™ Connected – If you love BBM and Twitter, you’ll love this update. Now Tweet and update your BBM™ status at the same time.
  • Reply within…

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How to make Twitter EXPLODE!

December 20, 2013


Today in social media: Hard to disagree with Tim Burrows’ (@T_Burrows) take here, and let’s hope that this doesn’t represent the views of a public relations professional.

Originally posted on Walking the Social Media Beat:

Holy crap…you want to see Twitter explode in negative feedback?  Try making a Tweet like this…

@JustineSacco 10:19am from Hillingdon, London

@JustineSacco 10:19am from Hillingdon, London

OK…so this is an ignorant piece of work that no one should give the time of day to and should just be ignored right?  Maybe, maybe not…let’s look closer.

Head of CorpComms at IAC??? WTH

Head of CorpComms at IAC??? WTH

OK…so she is a professional communicator for IAC, InterActiveCorp.  Google also has her listed as the head of PR for IAC.  Well, since she is the head of PR, I will assume that she has an awesome plan in place for this type of instant crisis communications that she has just created.

Google also has all the latest and greatest blog posts that have gotten all fired up in the 7 hours since the faux pas.  Click here for the highlights

So, lets consider this for a minute before we jump to conclusions.

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In praise of detective fiction

December 12, 2013

“…detective fiction …  is a pleasure much indulged in by scholars, pastors and theologians. Gabriel Marcel always insisted that we have to choose whether we treat life as a problem to be solved or as a mystery to be entered….” — Eugene Peterson, Living the Message:  Daily Reflections

As a former associate pastor, that might help explain my fascination with this genre.

How not to respond to a customer service inquiry, Starbucks

October 31, 2013
Weekdays, I pick up coffee at one of three Starbucks locations, always to go, and to be consumed on the subway.  My preferred size is 20 ounce (“venti” in Sbux-speech).  When I’ve been in a lineup, I have scanned the refillable containers in the stores, and never saw one for hot drinks in the venti size.  One day, when I was refilling my Starbucks card online, I took a look through what was available through the website.  Again, smaller sizes available, but not venti.
So, yesterday, when I was again refilling my card, I clicked on the contact us link and sent a short note:
Wondering why there do not seem to be any refillable venti-size containers for hot beverages. (I transplant my daily order into one of your competitors’ cups, which is less than ideal.)
I was underwhelmed by the response, which may as well have been generated instantly by a bot (and to be fair to the CS rep, I have removed her name):

Hello [blank space where no name inserted] ,


Thank you for contacting Starbucks.


I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughtful feedback regarding Venti sized refillable containers.  I want to assure you that I’ve shared your comments with the appropriate team for their review.


We’re always excited to receive feedback from our loyal customers about your Starbucks experience.  You know better than anyone else what you want from Starbucks.  We are constantly looking for ways to improve the quality of our products and service to create enthusiastically satisfied customers.


With that in mind, I also invite you to visit This website is a forum where you can share your ideas, tell us what you think of other people’s ideas and join the discussion that will help shape Starbucks future.  Many of the ideas shared have already been turned into action.

If you ever have any questions or concerns in the future, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.





customer service


Somehow, I won’t be in a hurry to contact them next time I have an issue.

As for me, I have to decide whether to switch to grande, or continue transplanting.

Great quote: The Bible gives us principles which we must prayerfully and intelligently apply to any given situation

October 18, 2013

I am preparing for our next home church discussion, about Jesus’ teaching in Mt 19 on divorce (although we will be looking at it through the prism of singleness; week 2 of the series shown here), and was quite taken by William Barclay’s point here (discussing Mt 19.10-12):

We may at the beginning note this. What Jesus laid down was a principle and not a law. To turn this saying of Jesus into a law is gravely to misunderstand it. The Bible does not give us laws; it gives principles which we must prayerfully and intelligently apply to any given situation.

Barclay; William (2010-11-05). The Gospel of Matthew, Volume Two: 2 (p. 243). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.


While I love the general point, it also shows what is an issue with me in many churches (and with many individuals who presume to represent Jesus):  if all you hear is law, run.  (And yes, that is my “principled” position.)

Words of wisdom on anger

October 13, 2013

One of the books I’m reading through this year is Eugene Peterson’s God’s Message for Each Day and the entry for October 9th has been simmering on my back burner since I read it:  

WHAT IS WRONG? Don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. EPHESIANS 4:26, THE MESSAGE


Anger is most useful as a diagnostic tool. When anger erupts in us, it is a signal that something is wrong. Something isn’t working right. There is evil or incompetence or stupidity lurking about. Anger is our sixth sense for sniffing out wrong in the neighborhood.


What anger fails to do, though, is tell us whether the wrong is outside or inside us. We usually begin by assuming that the wrong is outside us—our spouse or our child or God has done something wrong, and we are angry. But when we track the anger carefully, we often find it leads to a wrong within us—wrong information, inadequate understanding, underdeveloped heart.



Peterson, Eugene H. (2004-02-13). God’s Message for Each Day (Kindle Locations 3142-3150). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.


As someone who used to be a very angry person, I can only agree with Peterson’s diagnosis.  I’m so glad it wasn’t the last word on the subject.


Wits and Nitwits

October 12, 2013


An excellent piece on wit and whimsy by a friend of mine of many years standing. Enjoy.

Originally posted on Stumbling Blocks and Stepping Stones:

Occasionally while on a website I read the comments posted in reply to a presentation on that site. And I am appalled. It matters not whether it is a YouTube video, news item, article on either side of the political divide, or heaven forbid, religion. The language – vocabulary, grammar, spelling and punctuation – is atrocious. Manners have taken a hike. Courtesy, gone. Civilized thoughtful discourse almost extinct.

The most common thought held by the faceless public seems to be to attack everyone, including their heritage, parentage and their character using every kind of vulgarity in the process. Many equate vulgarity with wit when it is the antithesis of it. I suspect they would not even understand that last sentence.

Now, to interrupt myself, I have read some discussion threads that amazed me because of the broad or detailed knowledge of not-so-recent current events being shared. In some cases I…

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Personal reflection on @TheMeetingHouse Uptown Toronto 10th anniversary

October 6, 2013

While I am today a part-time staff member and home church elder for The Meeting House’s Uptown Toronto site, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary today, I actually played a minor supportive role in its soft launch.  (For those unaware of the term, that’s what the three weeks of practice services before the formal launch.)

Shortly before the first soft launch Sunday my eldest, a sound tech, got a call from a friend looking for a favour for another buddy.  Short version:  could he run the sound board for the soft launch Sundays and train the volunteers who would be assuming the task.  My part was simple:  drive him to Yorkdale for 8 a.m., then drive to Thornhill to the church I was then attending.

I admit to then finding the idea of church in a theatre odd, and thought the drive to Yorkdale longer than I’d like to do weekly (!), but he came back enthusiastic about the service.

And as I read the tweets yesterday about the training before today’s soft launch in Brantford,  it’s obvious that The Meeting House has learned a tricck or two between its third and fourteenth site.

Now, to finish breakfast, and get off to Yorkdale…

What I didn’t understand in today’s Lysiane Gagnon column

October 2, 2013

There has been much ado about the proposed Charter of Quebec Values, and much of the media attention has been muddled, so there I was enjoying an excellent column by Lysiane Gagnon in today’s Globe and Mail.  


The part adverted to in the title, the part I didn’t understand, was in the penultimate paragraph, specifically this clause:

the exclusion of the niqab, the face-covering veil, from the public service and school system; this is a matter of common sense


I do not understand why a woman would choose to wear a niqab, but to not make an argument, merely assert that banning this is “a matter of common sense” was, in my opinion, beneath the usual standards of this excellent columnist.


To cite another recent Globe op-ed, why should tax-paying Quebec residents be precluded from working in the public service or the school system, merely because of what they choose to wear.  Allowing them freedom of expression would be, what’s the expression? — a matter of common sense.

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