Thinking Out Loud

September 14, 2014

Remembering Our Friend

Filed under: personal — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:09 am

ToshiShe blew into our community a few years ago like a breath of fresh wind. We got to know her as a worship leader in one of our area churches. There was something about Toshi that was simply different and not just her unusual name.

So yesterday, when word went out that God had taken her home after a 17-month battle with cancer, a lot of people were asking, “Why?”  No matter what answers to the why questions I might pretend to hold, I found myself joining them.

Diagnosed just days after her wedding to John, they spent their entire married life together under the cloud of her illness. Even so, she continued to be a blessing to others. 

And when a proposal went out to have a fundraising concert for her last year, it seemed relatively speaking like the whole town showed up. She brought a lot of people together. 

She was 43. Someone has said that instead of speaking of short lives and long lives, we should speak of small lives and big lives. If impact on others is the metric, then Toshi lived a big life.

It’s hard to imagine this community without her. It’s hard to imagine the world without her. She made a difference.

Things stick around online forever, so to Toshi’s two young children; if years from now you find yourself reading this and you have a need, you can always return to this community and say, “My mom was Toshi.”

I promise you we will remember.



January 17, 2014

Philip Yancey Returns to the Question that Never Goes Away

Philip Yancey - The Question That Never Goes AwayOn Wednesday night we were part of the audience for Philip Yancey’s book tour for The Question That Never Goes Away. The event in Toronto was sponsored by HarperCollins Christian Publishing and considering the smaller size of the Canadian market, it was great that the tour happened here so close to the book’s release date. 

This isn’t a review of the book — I’ll get to that next week — but I was thrilled to be able to meet Philip and shake his hand and hear him speak. He is my favorite living Christian author and I now would have one thing to scratch off the bucket list, if I had a bucket list. 

Philip spoke about three specific places he has traveled to in recent months, Japan in the wake of the tsunami, Sarajevo in the wake of genocide, and Newtown, CT in the wake of the school shooting. Speaking eloquently and without much reference to notes, it was clear why he is one of Christian publishing’s finest authors.

Some of the material I have now heard four times inasmuch as I heard a radio interview he did on Saturday, read a preview chapter of the book on the website of an Australian bookstore chain on Monday, attended the presentation on Wednesday, and am now on page 44 of the book on Friday. The stories don’t get old, because they’re about situations people face which don’t go away. 

I also am learning to appreciate how Yancey doesn’t overstep his authority. He doesn’t present himself as a theologian or pastor; he is upfront about the fact that his life as a journalist and writer has taken him to some key places which have led to asking some key questions. But this role that some might see as more limited doesn’t reduce his appeal, rather it gives him a unique voice. He is one of the more significant writers in the Christian market, he invokes many scriptural themes and references, and thereby his words have touched people on all continents.

Philip Yancey Books

For more on the book visit Zondervan:

June 12, 2013

Wednesday Link List

Texting While Driving - Reverend Fun

Copyright © 2011 The Zondervan Corporation

Wednesday List Lynx -- two, actually

Wednesday List Lynx — two, actually

Time for another round of Christian blog and news links for the whole family. In the past we would often begin and end here with cartoons, but the whole question of fair use gets muddy sometimes, especially when humor meets illustration. I’ve studied the permissions statements of some of these and can’t reconcile what I read with what seems to be ubiquitous online. So we decided to run one, since it’s been awhile. Click the image to visit Reverend Run’s site.

I Once Was Lost Golf Ball Don’t forget to get your link suggestions in by 6:00 PM, Mondays, EST; and as always, for breaking links, you can follow me on Twitter. Look for @PaulW1lk1nson (change the letter i to a number 1).

May 27, 2013

Local News Story Still Leaves Us Speechless

Filed under: current events — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:56 am

There’s a news story that played out in our part of the world that I haven’t heretofore shared here, mostly because I really don’t know what to say. Neither did Tim Challies…

On the evening of May 6, Tim Bosma of Ancaster, Ontario, was doing the most mundane of things—he was attempting to sell his truck. He had advertised that his 2007 Dodge Ram pickup was for sale and two men had responded. His wife watched the truck pull out of the driveway as Tim took them on a test drive. She would never seen her husband again.

Eight days later police confirmed that they had found Bosma’s remains in a field, burned beyond recognition…

Read the whole story here.

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