Friday, March 30, 2012

Not hair Curling

Brenda and I just attended the World Junior Curling championships.  We saw the USA team go an extra end to beat Switzerland on the last stone.

I (Phil) was totally worn out by the end of the match.

You see, curling is really a contest of nerves, strategy, and skill.

When a stone is thrown, it is spun and curls in the direction of the spin (a counterclockwise spin curls towards the left).  I can envision the physics of breaking to the right, but not to the left. Ideas?

Who would have thought that sliding rocks over the ice could be so complex?

On one hand it's so simple a child can do it, on the other hand, you can practice it all your life and never master it.

I guess there's a lot more to a lot of things than first meets the eye.

 Swedish Women's team.

 Brenda and Heidi (curl Mom).

Brenda and USA Junior Women's team.

 A male national team with a female coach!  How many times have you seen that?

Add caption
 Sort of like following Christ; on one hand it's so simple a child can do it, on the other hand, you can practice it all your life and never master it.

Picts What the Snow Conceals, The Sun Reveals!

Everyone is shocked here at the rapid warming of the weather.  We have not had more than one or two temperatures below freezing in the last couple of weeks.

I was giving some locals trouble this morning about the supposed "cold weather" here.  Ah, what an exaggeration!!   And how quickly we forget that back on Feb 4, we saw a -28C temperature!  We sometimes complain about our bad memories, but Thank YOU L^rd for a "forgetter".  There are some things better forgotten (forgetting what lies behind, I press on...).

But back to the topic, Brenda and I have been greatly amazed at what was buried under that SNOW!

Here's what we have discovered:
  • Bike paths
  • Foot paths
  • A miniature golf course
  • Steps in front of my building, and lots of other places!
  • Nice cobblestones
  • Lots of trash
  • A wooden deck
  • Storm drains
  • Lots of lost gloves
  • Flowers!

You thought from the title that I was going to say, "What the Snow Conceals, The SON Reveals!", ...but I didn't.

However, because you brought it up...

 "For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light." Mark 4:22

"Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is."  I Corinth 3:13.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


“I think that I shall never see, a poem as lovely as a tree.” (from Trees by Joyce Kilmer).
I (Phil) love trees.  I think that’s why I like hunting so much, there are so many trees in the woods.

I have been quite impressed with the trees here in Jamtland.  Pines, spruce, and birch are abundant. The birches are one of the handsomest trees in the world.  We saw in the Jamtli museum that the old-timers used to tap them, just like they do sugar maples in the NE USA.
Trees do remarkable things.  They take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.  They pump water, which is really quite heavy, from their roots to their tip top, sometimes more than a hundred feet.

Trees are not G^d’s most impressive creation, but they are a testimony to His creativity, artistry, and majesty.
“A tree that looks at God all day,          And lifts her leafy arms to pray” (from Trees).
Oh, that I could be more like a tree.  (see Ps 1).

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cycles of Life

Bicycles are quite popular here.  I mentioned in an earlier post that last year almost 120K cyclists crossed the pedestrian bridge where we walk into Ostersund from Froson.

I have fallen on the ice twice just walking, and I have seen others slip and one man fall.  Amazingly to me, I have never seen a bicyclist fall.  They zoom down the steep hill where we live, and somehow make it across our busiest road, with ner a mishap.

Here bikes share the sidewalks rather than the streets as in the USA.

It seems to work well, as I haven't been run over, nor have I seen any other mishaps.

Cycling is fast, cheap, convenient.  That's why I cycle to work in Alabama.

Life cycles; our mistakes are repeated from generation to generation.

Thank you L^rd for your great Mercy.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

In a Fog

 This morning, walking to work, I saw the most beautiful fog I have ever seen.
 This was the warmest morning since we arrived.  The warm air picked up a load of moisture, then was blown out over the ice.
The ice cooled the warm, moist air, and little drops of water condensed and we got this clean white layer of fog suspended just over the cold, cold ice.

In the midst of a sinful, fallen world, G^d gives us glimpses of beauty, beyond anything we can create.

G^d doesn't have to do that,  but isn't that so like Him?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Another Lake, Another Monster

Lake Champlain has Champ, Lock Ness has it’s Nessie, and our Lake Storsjon has “Berger”.

Berger’s official name is “Storsj√∂odjuret”, or the “Great Lake monster”, so you can see why I like “Berger”.
Like Champ and Nessie, lots of people have seen Berger, dating from ancient times.  Like Nessie, lots of folks have tried to capture Berger, one way or another.  Some of the Ostersundbo even came up with a scheme to trap Berger.

Needless to say, it failed.

So, some believe in Champ, some believe in Nessie, some believe in Sasquatch, and some in Berger.  Me, I’m not too sure that any of these exist, despite the testimony of many.

Likewise, many of my colleagues, and a few friends remain doubtful that G^d exists, despite the testimony of many.  Belief in lake monsters won’t really matter in 1000 years but…

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cross-country Falling

I (Phil) have a desire to cross-country ski.  I love the woods.  I love the quiet.  I love the solitude.  I love being able to glide along, scarcely moving.  What I don't love is falling.

And, so far, when I am "skiing" I am doing a lot of falling.

Falling really isn't a problem, you just get up and try again.  It's when you give up to the Fall, then you have a problem.

Like so many other things, it's a lot like living the Christian life...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Room with a View

Brenda and I have had an unexpected pleasure here in mid-Sweden.  Our little second floor apartment has a terrific view.  Our Living room window faces almost due East.  Each morning we can see the sun rise.

We have seen the full moon rise this evening, and right now it is partially obscured by a single heavy cloud.  The moon slowly rises, and the winds blow the cloud.  There is a tug of war.  Who will win out?

I'm betting on the Moon.  It reflects the light of the Son.