Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Teaching Luxury

By now I'm sure you all know that I'm a giant nerd so I suppose I have nothing to hide.

Lately I've been watching Ray Mears' documentary series, "World of Survival." In this series he travels around the world and spends time with people groups that still live off the land and he learns about their survival skills. He covers a lot of ground; from the Inuit in northern Labrador to tribes in the Amazon, head-hunters in Indonesia, and the Aborigines in the Australian Outback. I think it's pretty sweet.

Anyway, I was recently watching an episode on a tribe of nomadic people in Siberia. You can watch the pertinent clip here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yicexqTSKi4 . As a parent I was intrigued by the section from about 0:20-1:30.
Ray's comment about the children only rarely crying really struck me. According to the prominent Western worldview you'd think that if anyone had something to cry about those kids would have it.

Just think about it... these kids live in SIBERIA. And then on top of that they have no toys, no 'home' (just a big canvas tent), nothing but the most basic of foods, and get tossed around on the back of a reindeer for hours/days at a time.

Yet they seem completely content.

That got me thinking. They have no sense of luxury and thus make no demands for it.

How often do I ask Kaleb, "What do you want?" By doing this am I giving him the opportunity for discontent?

To what extent should I, as a parent, say "this is what you can have" rather than "is this what you would like?"

Juanita and I have had a number of discussions around this topic even before we had Kaleb, but I'd like your take on it.

Do we teach/instill the concept of luxury on our children?
...on ourselves?

And here are a few pictures of my progress making Diamond Willow walking sticks. Below is a big staff parially stripped of its bark.
On the left is a completed Walking Stick that my dad gave me a few years back. In the middle is one of mine that has been completely stripped and partially sanded. On the right is the big staff stripped of all its bark except for the 'diamond' knots.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'd rather be Hunting

Unfortunately I don't have any amazing insights for you this week. I'm out at Bethany taking a modular class, "Science and Faith." After spending all day in the same class I have no more brains left to share with you so instead you get this:

Last Saturday morning a few friends and I went out goose hunting in the Glenbush area about two hours north-west of Saskatoon. It was our first time out and we had a great time!
For newbies we did pretty good; I've got a freezer full of goose breast to prove it! So if you have any good recipes for goose or duck let me know:)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pizza Sangre

Here's a video by Marc Craste that's more than a little artsy and kinda surreal. In an interview he basically said the idea for these shorts was the question, "what if TVs lived according to what is shown on them?"

**Warning: the following contains gratuitous violence**

What do you think?
Interesting? Ironic?
Purposely Pointless (like TV)?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Mystery of Faith

In what little spare time I've had recently I've been reading through G.K. Chesterton's oft-overlooked classic, "Orthodoxy." Published in 1908, Orthodoxy is Chesterton's view of apologetics (along with "Heretics" which I haven't read).

What I've been struck by as I've read this book is how countercultural Chesterton's views were. He was writing in the midst of the height of modernity. The "Myth of Progress" was in full swing and yet Chesterton says, "I freely confess all the idiotic ambitions of the end of the nineteenth century. I did, like all other solemn little boys, try to be in advance of the age. Like them I tried to be some ten minutes in advance of the truth. And I found that I was eighteen hundred years behind it..." (Chesterton 4). What modern Englishman would ever call the enlightenment ambitions "idiotic"?

He almost sounds like a postmodernist!

While he doesn't reject reason and logic outright he says that they need to be balanced by mysticism. “Mysticism keeps men sane. As long as you have mystery you have health; when you destroy mystery you create morbidity” (Chesterton 23).

Orthodoxy is Chesterton's call for Christians to regain the mystery and adventure of Christianity. Stories say that Chesterton, a big fat jolly man, walked everywhere with a sword-cane (a walking stick with a sword hidden in the handle) just in case he ran into an adventure!

Do we as Christians need to regain our sense of adventure?
... of mystery?
What might that look like?