Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Old Stuff for Posterity

This is an old assignment I did when I was at ICS. Posted for posterity.
The assignment was to answer the question Why do You get up in the morning, point out three major influences and two standouts in Steven Garber's book The Fabric of Faithfulness.

Why Do I Get Up In the Morning?

My alarm goes off and I groan. I don't want to get up. I am not a morning person. For some strange reason God did not wire me that way. So, as I head out the door to work at 7:30 am plus or minus a half-hour, (usually plus), I am not pondering why I got up, only that my sense of duty, my Calvinist work ethic demands it. As the morning starts to mature and I have completed all the first things at work, I am able to think about such things. If it is a busy time at
work one would find me designing machines, a gift I have combining the creative juices, and the technical aptitude
God has given me. This leads me to one of the primary reasons I get up most mornings. One of my deep desires is to
use my God given talents to benefit others and to do this to the glory of God.

Garber talks about John John (p 112), who says, "Living a life of glory to God is living a life of integrity, a life that
speaks louder than words." How can I measure up to that? I endeavour to live a life of integrity, to measure up to all that God would ask of me, but I always fall down and it is only by the Grace of God that I can get back get up.

I think living a life of glory to God is using one's gifts and talents in meaningful, useful ways.

I get up in the morning to create things. Whether it is designing machines at work, creating something memorable on the soccer pitch, sketching, building something in my woodshop, carving first tracks on a snow covered mountain or

simply using my imagination, I like to make things.

Two other reasons I get up, to interact with God's good though currently sin wrinkled creation, and to teach the
Heidelberg Catechism to my small band of grade 12 students.

It seems that to use one's spiritual gifts is to glorify God and find satisfaction in doing so, and that is what makes it
worth while getting up in the morning.

2. Three major influences:

All the people Garber interviewed for his book, they could 'only connect' faith and life. All had learned a worldview
that would stand the tests of the world. All had Convictions. All had found someone to teach and live that
worldview, someone that could provide an example. All had Character. All had developed ITiendships with like¬
minded people whose regular life was rooted in that same worldview. All had Community. It is well worth noting as
Garber says, "There were no exceptions" (p 111).

I have come by my own worldview, a worldview that has indeed stood the test of time, by the Grace of God. All the
years I spent growing up in the broader community of the Christian Reformed Church, I was gaining worldview by
osmosis, and it wasn't until someone finally articulated that worldview to me that I said to myself, 'Eureka!' this is
what I always knew but didn't know. As Dan Heimbach says (Garber p 122) " I couldn't turn my back on what I
knew to be true."

Who is my teacher? Well I can't pick out a specific teacher that exemplified this worldview. Perhaps I am an
exception, or perhaps everything is about to come crashing down. Maybe I could cheat a little and say that my father
was my mentor. He lived this worldview though he never articulated it. He gave me a living example, an example I
watched... and followed.

3. Two stand outs:

Truth. For all of Garber's interviewees belief in truth stands out. My own belief in truth is basic to my being. It
stems ITom belief in God, in belief in right and wrong, in believing that there are transcendent truths and higher
moral values. If the momentous leanings of our culture determine truth, well then there really is no truth at all.

Coherence. For all of Garber's interviewees a desire for coherence stands out. This, I think can be partnered with
faith. It is important for our God given logically thinking minds to find coherence in our world and how we interact
with it. I like the fact that I can make decisions based on the coherence of my worldview. But here I have questions.
Is it necessary to be coherent? Ifwe could logically and coherently explain Christianity would we need faith? And if
we didn't need faith, what would we have?

Monday, March 28, 2005


I am an alumni of Georgetown District Christian School, and recently I was asked to write a short blurb for the school paper, the following is what spilled out.

As I was thinking about my sojourn in GDCS, the toil, the complex assignments, the arduous homework inflicted upon me by my teachers, I recalled my very first day of school. I remember someone directing me to my new desk in Grade 1. It was well before class was going to start, and everyone else was outside having fun. I recall the sun shining and being jealous of those kids, laughing and yelling, you know the way all playgrounds sound from a short distance. Miss Charlton said I could go outside but I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find my way back to my desk let alone the classroom. It seems I was not much of an explorer.
It turns out that a little perspective changes things and all that labour wasn’t really so difficult, actually I look back on my time at GDCS with warmth in my heart.
I went on to high school at Toronto District Christian High School and then studied engineering at Sheridan College for three years. My career started slowly but after working for several different companies in the engineering field, gaining experience in design. I settled into a position with my current company PROMAT Engineering Sales Inc. where I design machinery for the material handling industry. People always wonder what that means, and I explain that we are experts in movement of flowing materials such as lime, talc, or chocolate chips. I enjoy combining my God-given creativity and penchant for machines, as I seek to glorify my creator with what I do.
I am at one of those life’s crossroads however, in the midst of not only a career change, but also a matrimonial change. I am soon to be wed to the most beautiful woman in the world, (I may be biased) on April 2nd. I have also recently been appointed as a missionary to Japan and I am currently in the midst of raising support and getting ready to move to Osaka.
Japan promises to be a very challenging place to work, communication being one of the biggest challenges. I will be learning Japanese but even with the language in my back pocket, communicating biblical concepts such as sin or God’s love and grace remain a difficulty. I am looking forward to the challenge, but at the same time feel apprehensive. I think I’ll go sit at my desk for a little while.

Will Dykstra – Class of 1980

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Thankyou very much

While I was in Japan my fiancee's sister's husband's brother sent over a bust of Elvis. He wanted us to take pictures of Elvis doing Japanese things. Aukje took him to see cherry blossoms at the park. I wanted to tie him to the train tracks, but Aukje didn't think we could get away with it. We had Elvis at an Alpha, and we also took him to Osaka Castle, which as you can see is about the same size as Elvis head. Elvis was quite heavy, I would say about 20lbs and had to be put in my big backpack for transport, as he didn't fit in a day pack. Aukje's sister's husband's brother has several Elvis's on the go, and Elvis has already been to many places.