Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bon Cop Bad Cop

I saw the premiere of Bon Cop Bad Cop at Fantasia this Monday. The director, executive producer and two actors were there.

The movie has his dose of nudity and sexual content, as well as swearing, but it also has a strong dose of laughter and action scenes that leave you begging for more. I particularly laughed duing the swearing lesson. (Well, we use it as an adjective, but it can also be a noun. Then, there's also a verb form...)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Nice weekend with my folks

Will keep this very short.

I spent the weekend in Québec City. I did some biking with my dad, participated in an African night, had a nice service + BBQ on Sunday. There has been some emotions flying on the air for me. There was just a lot of my youth that was flooding my memory once more. Like if those memories rebelled after being put away for so long.

I also listened to The Brandernburg Concertos of J.S. Bach, interpreted by The Brandenburg Consort/Roy Goodman, under a Hyperion Dyad label. I like the 3rd much, the others less.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Crazy Adventure

So... I thought I had my evening plan set yesterday... I was wrong.

A brother calls me and tells me there's a guy who'd do a Bible study NOW. And it seems that any other moment was not much of an option. After telling him that I had plans, I told him to call me back if noone could join him. It looks like I was his only man.

So, in a flash, I cancelled my previous engagement and hopped in the metro to go to a place of Montreal I wouldn't spend that much time on normally. The guy walked us to his place and we studied until 23:45. The direct metro line was closed at that point. :'( So, we walked to another metro station (much longer route for me on the Orange line) and I got home past 00:30. Yay for my unstable sleep :(

Anyway, I'm kind of proud of an insane adventure like that. This is the kind of stuff that should happen in a disciple's life every now and then!

Now, we just need to pray for him to take the decision to convert.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Challenge in Surrender

How to put it?
There were sisters coming from the US, and I took care of them. Why was it challenging? Because nothing worked according to my plans! Then, there were communication issues that made me wait a lot, and walk a lot more than expected (remember the sprained ankle) and a few more things I'm not putting there (lets just say they don't give me a good image). So yeah, you can say that I was more of a control freak than a godly surrendered man.
As a sidenote, I enjoyed when one sister gave me advil!
Anyway, we visited the Old Montreal, a bit of the Quartier Latin and Village, fireworks, Mount Royal, etc. We ate at the 3 brasseurs and this is a good place to go eat if you have a bit of money.

Also, the heat worsened my sleep, so I ended up being overly tired on everything. We had a good service on Sunday, but I can testify that I had no desire but to sleep afterwards ;) (buuuuut, that's due to the heat... not the sermon).

As of today, we finished the paper and submitted it. I was supposed to have a Bible study this morning, but the guy was a no-show... but that was cool, as a guy started talking to us. He was resistant to have the Bible as the supreme authority of his life, and we parted peacefully. Now, I'm moving on to read some work done by the ISO.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Creativity and Butchery

Professionally, I had an interesting week. Health-wise, its a mixture of love and hate. Spiritually, let me smile.

We had two lectures from a visiting scholar. One was on time management, and one was on software watermarking
We spent some time working on our theoritical language, and things went the way I expected with my supervisor: simple, elegant, but very hard to implement. Our previous work was the reverse, although I fully expected things to turn this way and supported it to a certain extent. We also started working on the camera-ready version of that paper we need to submit Monday. It turns out that we used the wrong template to compile the document... and that with the needed template, we ended up with 6 pages, whereas we were accepted for 4.
And the butchering began... its not the first time I have to do it, and this is getting annoying. There are limits to what you can chop off when things are already quite compact, but you need to go somehow beyond that. Anyway... enough complaining, I have another publication. Maybe I'll even go to Markham to present it.
I am satisfied with my level of productivity. Things went well and I had a lot of focus.
I started physio. I have to do exercises. First with the rubber band, and now about equilibrium. I have some stretches to do. The therapist was surprised to see me on one of those. She told me I was one of the least flexible cases she saw on that particular stretch... that means that my knee is much more messed up than I thought it was.
Anyway... I don't like the process, but I have to go through it.
So, what was so great spiritually? I prepared a strong exhortation for the brothers' midweek, reminding about the spiritual warfare and the need to be a band of warrior-brothers. I gave pratical challenges for the next 2 weeks: 1 d-time , prayer time, and evangelization time with another brother at least, for each week. I finally made a follow-up phone call (after being lazy about it) and I'll meet the guy for a study on Monday. Guuuuuuuuuuuuut!
I also prepared a super-time for sisters coming in town from Albany, NY.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Letter to MP

It is done! I wrote about Darfur. Here's is what I sent him (with a few CCs)

I gotta watch the video of the conference myself:
http://migs.concordia.ca/CanadaandDarfurConference.htm

Irwin Cotler
Chambre des communes
OTTAWA (Ontario)
Canada
K1A 0A6
CC: Mr. Harper, Mr. MacKay, M. O'Connor, Mr. Duceppe, Mr. Layton, Mr. Dallaire
Date: 11 Juillet 2006
Sujet: Appel à l'action face au Darfour et à la mise en place d'une politique claire d'action internationale.
Monsieur,
Je suis un simple citoyen vivant dans la circonscription de Mont-Royal, et je vous écris en réponse aux nouvelles que je vois concernant le Darfour. De plus, une réflection personnelle me laisse l'impression que le Canada est en train de renier ses valeurs fondamentales dans sa politique étrangère actuelle. J'espère que la courte exposition de la situation et de mon analyse, dans cette lettre, stimulera votre action parlementaire. De plus, j'amène des suggestions qui me semblent concrètes
C'est avec horreur que j'ai lu que mon gouvernement avait refusé de supporter une motion condamnant l'état d'Israël dans sa politique punitive face à la population palestinienne. Cela me semble en contraste direct avec plusieurs valeurs bien canadiennes et plus précisément la compassion.
Avec réflection, je me demande si notre gouvernement a précisé quelle était l'idéologie qu'il allait employer dans nos relations internationales, et si cette idéologie était en phase avec les valeurs de notre société. Hors, il me semble voir une idéologie quasi-guerrière qui n'a rien en commun avec les désirs de mes compatriotes et moi-même. J'ai la certitude que les Canadiennes et Canadiens sont d'un fort altruisme quand stimulés par la souffrance et l'horreur. Les réactions de la population lors de crises du passé ont bien démontré une solidarité autant locale qu'internationale.
En tant que député de l'opposition, j'aimerais que vous questionnez ce gouvernement sur ses réelles valeurs quant à son action à l'international. Le Canada sera-t-il à l'avenir une nation défendant sans relâche les droits humains, sans discrimination quant à l'origine, la race et la couleur de peau de ceux qui sont opprimés?
Je vous prie de faire pression pour des actions concrètes sur un dossier qui représente malheureusement trop bien l'indifférence occidentale: le Darfour. Comme vous le savez sûrement vous-même, les actes montrent un réel génocide, mettant en vedette une population déportée, massacrée, pillée et violée au vu et au su de la communauté internationale, avec la collaboration directe du gouvernement local. Les troupes de l'Union Africaine, selon des observateurs indépendants, sont incapables d'avoir un impact réel sur le terrain.
Nous sommes moralement obligés d'agir, et ce ne sont pas les quelques dollars offerts précédemment qui arrêteront les milices de tuer.
Il sagit bel et bien d'un 2e Rwanda, malgré que la communauté internationale a juré de ne jamais laisser un 2e se produire. Advenant que vous ne soyez pas familier avec l'horreur de la chose je vous encourage de lire le livre de Mr. Dallaire ou de discuter avec ce dernier. Quant au Darfour, les pages du site web de CBC vous donneront un portrait assez juste de la situation, bien que je vous encourage à consulter les témoignages des observateurs sur le terrain.
(footnote: L'Université Concordia a organisé une conférence sur le sujet. Voici un lien avec les informations:
http://migs.concordia.ca/CanadaandDarfurConference.htm)
Je vous suggère, monsieur, des idées pratiques à suggérer à nos gouvernants:
Appel aux soldats des forces régulières et des réservistes volontaires à servir à une mission de stabilisation.
Leadership au sein des Nations Unies pour obtenir des sanctions exemplaires contre le gouvernement Soudanais pour sa complicité
Leadership aux Nations Unies pour l'établissement et le déploiement d'une force de stabilisation déployée à l'intérieur d'un mois. Si la communauté internationale a su réagir en un instant pour la première guerre du golfe, elle est toujours capable d'agir rapidement et efficacement aujourd'hui.
Considérant les antécédents de ce genre de mission, passer par l'OTAN si le processus est bloqué à l'ONU. Peut-être cela donnera une leçon en efficacité à cette organisation reconnue pour sa lenteur à décider quoi que ce soit.
Restructuration de l'armée afin d'établir un Corps de Paix et Stabilité, spécialisé dans ce type de mission. Cela règlerait le problème d'image associé à l'affirmation que nos troupes sont étirées à l'extrême, puisque les troupes pouvant être facilement déployées seraient visiblement comptabilisées.
Adoption d'une politique d'adoption d'un État. L'idée n'étant pas courante, je vous l'explique ici: plutôt que de séparer l'aide aux pays en voie de développement en de petits morceaux qui n'ont pas toujours de l'impact localement (ex: les sacs de nourriture de l'ONU vendus au marché au lieu d'être distribués), je propose un partenariat avec une nation précise. Cette dernière reçevrait la part du lion de l'aide internationale, mais surtout quant à des contributions en nature: juges, policiers, médecins, infirmiers, ingénieurs, enseignants, experts en agriculture et développement durable, économistes, etc. L'objectif étant simple et bien défini: édifier une nation sur tous les points critiques: éducation, infrastructure, économie, droit et intégrité à l'intérieur d'une génération. Une telle aide servirait les besoins les plus immédiats (santé, nourriture) tout en gardant une vision à long terme. Plus l'action étant concentrée, plus tangibles seront les fruits. Le résultat serait une nation forte, apte à aider celles de sa région moins bien nanties. Une telle politique, une fois la paix et l'ordre rétabli, pourrait être appliquée avec la région du Darfour (à défaut de s'occuper du Soudan au complet... il ne faudrait pas non plus récompenser un gouvernement désirant la mort de son peuple)
En résumé, monsieur, je vous appelle à défendre l'idéal Canadien de la solidarité et du la défense des droits humains fondamentaux. Prenez le taureau du Darfour pour les cornes et démontrez au monde que chaque vie humaine est précieuse! Nous sommes capables, en tant que nation, d'avoir un impact énorme sur le monde.
Des grands hommes nous y dirigèrent dans le passé, il nous faut maintenant de grands hommes pour le faire pour l'avenir. Faisons-le!
Sincèrement vôtre,
Marc-André Laverdière

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Strong Brotherhood

Here is sermon notes for a men's midweek that I preached this summer

"I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother;
you were very dear to me.
Your love for me was wonderful,
more wonderful than that of women." - 2 Samuel 1:26
David was a man who loved women very very much... yet he loved Jonathan as a true brother, and loved him more than he loved even his wives. Is there a man you love more than your wife or desire for a wife?
Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. - Matthew 5:37
Now, what are the things that you said yes to when you became a disciple? Here is some things I did commit to:
- carry your cross every day
- make disciples (every day)
- have daily contact with brothers and sisters
- submit to what the Bible teaches
- read my Bible every day
- pray every day to my God
What are things we preached to you before? I think that, for some of them, we made it explicitely clear that you should change church if you didn't commit to those. What were they?
- involvement at sunday, midweek and family group meetings
- discipling
- evangelization
- and I dare add, loving one another
Those are things that you implicitely commited to, that each of us had commited to. Now, it is a simple matter of holding the commitment that you made.
Challenges:
- Have a d-time or d-group this week
- Evangelize with a brother for 30 minutes this week
- Pray with a brother at least once this week
- Decide to be open about your life and your struggles
- Fight sexual impurity together by prayer

Friday, July 7, 2006

Great Movie at Fantasia

The Fantasia Film Festival is going on right now, at Concordia. The line up of movies is interesting. Too much, actually. I need to fight the urge not to buy 10 tickets on my own!

Yesterday, I went to see Seven Swords with a brother and we enjoyed the movie tremendously. Not only they had awesome fight scenes, but they also gave important to secondary characters.

I needed to have some relaxation, after the big mess I had to deal with this week. Won't say more on this blog at this point.

Shame!

I really think that our government is nuts at this point.

So, Canada votes against a motion condemning the actions of Israel recently. Please keep in mind that Israel is destroying civilian infrastructure in the process of retrieving a kidnapped soldier. Power plants, Palestinian leaders' offices, etc. are being blown up for this sole purpose, handicapping further the Palestinian people. How many will die because of that?

Then, it makes lip service in improving things in Darfur, by donating money while not really pushing for things to change on the ground.

And shame on me for delaying to write to my leaders demanding things to change... Email me if you don't see me posting my letter to them by Tuesday to keep me accountable.

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Double :(

Germany lost today...

The other :( is that I got to the doctor's today, who diagnosed a sprained ankle. He prescribed some painkillers and some physio. I am not too happy about that, but I needed to make sure that my ligament was not torn or anything like that. Something tells me that those nice shoes will see a decreasing level of mileage in the time to come...

Monday, July 3, 2006

Saint Saëns Goodness

I got at the library a CD of the Symphony #3, Danse Macabre, an exerpt of Samsom and Dalia, and "Trois Rhapsodies sur des cantiques bretons". The works were performed by the Royal Stockholm Philarmonic Orchestra, conducted by James DePriest.

I can say that the Maestroso of Symphony #3 is breathtaking, and the Danse Macabre is great too. I enjoyed the rythm and explosion of sounds. My style.
The performing was good too, and I just enjoyed it.

I also took Händel's Solomon. I listened to it, but didn't put the attention needed to it. I recognized some things from the Messiah and Water Music. Like the Messiah, it needs to be really listened to. Maybe I'll take it again later, when I can consecreate more than 3 non-stop hours to listen to this.