Finding a Voice

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Velveteen Rabbit

This morning I googled The Velveteen Rabbit and discovered this little gem: the entire book online with original illustrations by William Nicholson. You must read it.

This book has been published several times, with at least four different illustrators, but my favorite artist is Donna Green, whose use of color and light is wonderfully luminous and numinous. According to, the Donna Green edition is out of print, but apparently you can order it from her site.
posted by Colleen McCubbin at 12:04 PM 0 comments

Saturday, January 21, 2006

access & power

"What will it take for evangelicals in the United States to recognize our mistaken loyalty? We have increasingly isolated ourselves from the shared faith of the global Church, and there is no denying that our Faustian bargain for access and power has undermined the credibility of our moral and evangelistic witness in the world. The Hebrew prophets might call us to repentance, but repentance is a tough demand for a people utterly convinced of their righteousness."

from Op-Ed in The New York Times: "Wayward Christian Soldiers" by Charles Marsh

I know this is not the United States, and this Op-Ed grapples mainly with the Iraq invasion. However, with the Canadian election coming up on Monday and with an evangelical Christian, Steven Harpur, among the top three contenders for Prime Minister, I can't help but wonder if evangelicals in Canada are setting themselves up for a similar "Faustian bargain" that could compromise "the credibility of our moral and evangelistic witness in the world." On the surface, this would seem impossible, since there some important moral issues at the forefront in this campaign: abortion, homosexual marriage, assisted suicide.

However, I can't help but wonder if some Christians spend too much time trying to influence these things through political channels and if most Christians do not spend enough time incarnationally ministering in relationship with their neighbours and other people in their communities. When we organize protests or lobby hard, do we erect more barriers than bridges?

Pray for Steven Harpur and other Christians who are involved in politics. I may yet vote for Steven Harpur on Monday -- I haven't ruled him out. But his profession of faith does not automatically make him the best leader for the country in my mind. In fact, the American track record makes me wary ...
posted by Colleen McCubbin at 4:33 PM 1 comments

my dad's heart again

A week ago on Thursday my dad learned two things:
(1) that he was on the waiting list for by-pass surgery,
(2) and a spot had come open for Monday.

So 5 days ago he had double by-pass surgery.

Phone message from Mom
Monday evening, after 11:00 pm

Just got back from the hospital. I was only able to get in to see dad for about 5 minutes, so I haven’t seen him too much here, but he was awake and able to open his eyes for a little bit. Couldn’t keep them open yes or no. So I’m probably going to sleep for a few hours and then go back. I won’t wait till morning probably, but I’ll go back a little sooner. I didn’t sleep too good last night anyway, so I probably won’t do it tonight either. Anyway, I’ll be here for a little hwile, and I’ll phone you tomorrow, probably at work or something.

On Tuesday I called Robert & Lorrie's place, where Mom was staying in Saskatoon. Lorrie returned my call. Here's her phone message:
Tuesday, 5:30 pm

I haven’t talked to your mom since first thing this morning at about 9:00 when she got back from the hospital. Martin had a pretty good night. I don’t know how good a day he had, hopefully he rested enough. They actually had him up a little tiny bit before the 9:00, probably just sitting on the side of the bed, but I’m not real sure. He wasn’t able to keep any food down yet, but that’s pretty soon after the surgery. He tried to keep water and that didn’t stay down either. However, he has talked to your mom a bit, so I know that part is good, and we should get some news a bit later. I don’t expect your mom here until late, but she may call. So you have a good evening and if I hear any more I’ll give you a call back.

Phone message from Mom
Tuesday, 9:20 pm

Just returning your call. Martin got out of intensive care and into observation today. He’s not doing too bad, he’s feeling a little nauseated, but I guess that’s normal too after surgery. So he was just feeling not real 100% when I left tonight, but hopefully he’ll have a good night’s sleep. And I won’t be going up till after lunch tomorrow—the visiting hours starts at 2:00. So I’ll let you know by tomorrow evening again how things are going.

Dad had a pretty rough day on Wednesday -- heart rate too high, blood pressure too low. But they got it under control, thankfully.

Phone message from Mom
Thursday afternoon

Mom here, quarter after one on – I think it’s Thursday, losing track of time here! Anyway, I’m going to be going up to the hospital after a bit, visiting hours starts at 2:00. Tried your office but you weren’t home so I thought I’d just leave a message. Martin got moved to a regular ward today, I guess they got his heart settled down. The nurse thought he would possibly get out tomorrow, and if not tomorrow then possibly the next day. Anyway, I’ll maybe touch base with you tonight, but just wanted you to know that he’s in a regular ward now. Talk to you later.

Friday, 10:19 pm

Mom calling, it’s Friday night and it’s quarter to nine. Just wanted to let you know that we brought Martin home this afternoon and we’ve got him tucked into bed here. Dad—Grandpa—is staying out a Linda and Glenn’s and we’re sleeping in his bed so that Martin doesn’t have to use the stairs. So anyway, you can give us a call when it works out for you. Talk to you later. Bye-bye.

So Dad is home now. I called a few minutes ago and my Aunt Marilynn & Uncle Dave (from Cold Lake, AB) had just walked in the door.

Dad says he's not in any pain in his chest or in his leg where they took the vein to use, but he's exhausted and feels like he's been pulled through a knot hole! The doctors warned him NOT to go home and sit, so he's up and moving around. Apparently in about 6 weeks he'll feel like a new man!

It amazes me that a person can go home less than a week after having his chest pried open and his heart literally lifted out of his chest to replace two arteries with vein from his lower leg! The wonder of the human body that God created and what skill God has given to surgeons and other medical professionals ...
posted by Colleen McCubbin at 1:56 PM 1 comments

praying for Canadian politicians

I received this email today. While there is truth in it, and I do not condone the positions of the politicians in question, I believe this call to prayer is one-sided, misguided, reactive, and vengeful. So, patience as you read through it. My response follows.

Hi Colleen,

Just a quickie note to ask you for prayer support for the next two days. There's a group of us here in MJ who are asking the Lord that He will remove from the political field and political life the following people:

Paul Martin
Svend Robinson
Belinda Stronach
Scott Bryson

Paul Martin has been peppering the airwaves with blatant lies about one of God's Christian servants, Stephen Harper, (a member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church), and causing the popularity polls in Ontario for Harper to drop drastically yesterday and today. It is really a tragedy, because this is the first chance we've had to elect a born-again Christian as our Prime Minister – someone whom Christians can rely upon to stand up for Christian moral values – in contrast to the
other three leaders.

I did some research several years ago on the NDP, and in a letter from the Head Office of the NDP, I have in my possession the form which ALL potential candidates have to fill out before they are accepted as nominees in the NDP Party. The conditions to which they have to agree are:

To promote the acceptability of
1. homosexuality
2. same-sex marriage
4. physician-assisted suicide

Svend Robinson, a former NDP MP and a self-proclaimed homosexual and thief, is the one who introduced into Parliament the bill to legalize homosexuality and also same-sex marriage, which, as you know, became law under the guidance of Paul Martin, Gilles Duceppe, and Jack Layton. Scott Bryson, a self-proclaimed homosexual, and just recently "married" to his boyfriend, was a former contender for the leadership of the old PC Party several years ago, and later defected to the Liberal Party because he did not feel comfortable with an Evangelical Christian as his leader. He has nothing but scorn for Harper whenever interviewed on TV. The same goes for Belinda Stronach who, without any experience, ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada but who fortunately lost. Belinda is a strong "women's rights" promoter, and berates Harper as not having enough "experience" to be a Prime Minister – pointing out her hypocrisy, as she aspired to that very post herself when she ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada two years ago.

Jack Layton, who espouses all of the above four-listed terms of admittance to the candidate race of the NDP, is also a strong promoter of "Women's Rights", even though this concept more often than not leads to the abortion of innocent little babies to whom God has given a body and an everlasting soul. God help us if we vote for him or any of his candidates.

These people – Paul Martin, Scott Bryson, Belinda Stronach, Jack Layton and Svend Robinson – all promote "Women's Rights", but say nothing about the rights of the unborn baby, whom God has created and whose little body is very visible very early on in pre-natal growth. There are very few people, it seems, who are willing to protect the rights of that little soul; indeed, NO potential Prime Minister of ANY of the Federal parties except Stephen Harper, would dare to let this issue be debated in the House of Commons with a view to possibly having this law, or lack of it, changed.

I would, therefore, ask you to pray that the four above-listed people, along with Jack Layton, would be removed from the political arena in Canada, and that they not be elected again. I would further ask that you ask two more Christian people of your acquaintance to pray similarly for the next two days, and that those two people would continue on asking others to pray for this, two and two and so on.

I believe strongly that God would be pleased to hear these particular prayers - one has only to read the Old Testament prophets to find out what God thinks of child sacrifice (Putting them through the fire). I also bring to your attention I Corinthians 6:9, as well as Rev. 21:8 and Rev.22:15. These are the very things which Jack Layton, Scott Bryson, Belinda Stronach, Paul Martin and Svend Robinson are all promoting. They are now being aided and abetted by Dr. Henry Morganthaler, the diabolical abortionist doctor.

May God help us to get rid of them. May God have mercy on us if we do not try. We battle not only.against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. Let us do battle for the Lord's sake. We must not fail to do less than that.

Your friend in Christ, ______

My Response

Dear ______,

Thank you for this call to prayer.

I will indeed pray, as Paul instructs in I Timothy 2:1-2. "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in everyway."

Removal from politics is not the only option for our prayer. I Timothy 2:3-4 should instruct us as much as any Old Testament prophecy on praying for politicians, because "This [intercession] is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." Belinda, Paul, Svend, and Scott are people and God cares about their souls as much as he cares about those of the unborn. In fact, in addition to stories of kings and kingdoms being brought down, the Old Testament contains many examples of God turning the hearts of kings and leaders towards himself. These politicians may be enemies of God right now, but so were all of us before we knew the Lord (Romans 5:10). Romans 12:14-21 urges blessings rather than curses for persecutors. Praying for a leader's removal from government might seem like a righteous thing to do, but what if it is actually a curse? Let’s call upon them to turn to the Lord – in both his love and his righteousness.

Let's ask God for His will to be done and His kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven, which includes pleading for the salvation and transformation of these politicians as well as justice and protection for the weak, the oppressed, and the helpless (like the unborn).

One day Martin, Stronach, Robinson, and Bryson will stand before the Lord and their obviously evil purposes and deeds will be judged. How much better that they bow the knee before Jesus Christ in this life rather than the next. We should ask God to change their hearts and, if necessary, their positions. We should call for Christ's glory to be revealed in all things.


posted by Colleen McCubbin at 12:20 PM 0 comments

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

the editor as reader

"... all of us would be able to talk avidly and at length about books we care about. And that's why this matters. Editors can come across as authority figures with impeccable taste and the frightening power to acquire or not acquire. But we are all readers first, and readers whose interests and insights continue to evolve throughout our lives. ...

"Being a reader is to be engaged in a continuing process ... I am, as an editor, influenced by what I have read and am reading. Seems obvious, but it's easy to assume that our taste is fixed. It isn't, and I wouldn't want it to be."

-- Harold Underdown
posted by Colleen McCubbin at 1:58 PM 1 comments