Archive for February, 2006

Home at last?

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006

We got the word!

Our son left to work on a cruise ship in mid-July.  He has finished his contract and arrives home on Saturday.

At 11:35 – at night – like, around midnight.  Right when all good parents should be in bed.

His flight comes in to Saskatoon.  A two hour drive.  Best done during the day when you are awake.  When the sun is shining.  And the temperature is above zero.

Not like tonight.  The forecast is calling for -51 windchill.  Of course, you have to step outside and get into the wind to get the chill.  Around here we call it the “big chill.”

So, since we have missed winter this year, maybe I’ll get up in the middle of the night and experience winter.

NOT!!

To You!

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

In 1972 I encountered a young 19 year old.  She was just a slight wisp — a refreshing breeze that could easily have been missed, but once you saw her you’d never miss her again!

She carried herself with determination.  Her friends were loyal, for she was loyal.  Her home was more than 2000 kilometers away but she was all there, wherever “there” was.

Her blond head bobbed up and down hallways I frequently daily.  My total distraction with her blossomed the following year.  We began to “see” each other – rather innocently at first.  Then more devotedly.  We married in 1976.

This past fall, we examined our wedding pictures. 

I’d forgotten how fashion changes over three decades.  Light brown tuxedos are no longer the rage.  The bridesmaids’ and the wedding dress flow in the breeze creating what I consider to be one of the most stunning photographs I have ever seen!  On closer examination I find my breath most taken by the one who covenanted to remain with me for life.

Now we are sailing in our 30th year of marriage.  The breezes have sometimes been a little rough  –some days the water has threatened to wash away the good timber that is the foundation of our life together. 

Those days are fewer these days!  There is a comfort to the ship that makes lounging on deck easy and refreshing.  The creaking we hear is just an assurance that we’ve stood the storms.  Our weathered condition is a sign of good construction!  And the map of the years allows us to steer into calming waters instead of always heading into hurricanes.

I write this to a great wife! 

To a great lover I give thanks for a safe place where all of me is linked to all of you, and we two are truly one!  To a stimulating thinker, reader and engaging conversationalist, I give thanks for the shores of sanity you constantly expose.  To one whose creativity composes music and food with equal enthusiasm, your ability to tap into God’s deep soul of creation never ceases to amaze me. 

To my best friend – Happy Valentine’s day!!

Storms are coming??

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Today a friend was headed west.  Expecting to hit a snowstorm!

Of course, with this winter, one can never be sure.  My next door neighbour, Mike, is actually starting to believe in global warming.

Which makes one ask – Where have all the snowstorms gone?

In 1955 the storm of the century hit Kindersley.  My father talks of people who started the day in shirtsleeves, but never made it home.  I understand I was left stranded in the hospital because my parents could not get out of the farmyard.

But no one can remember a winter where there was no winter.  We are still waiting for -40 weather.  Right now the snow is melted around the house.  Yesterday we watched the ice recede.

If I didn’t know better, the new ice age “reversed” is on its way.  Of course, maybe I don’t know better!

Writer's group small but interesting!

Saturday, February 11th, 2006

Last night I sneaked out to where writers meet!

Down at Cafe Danse a group of four lounged around a table, drinking tea and swapping stories.  This was my first time with Linda, and Twila and Dale.  For an hour we enjoyed each other’s presence.  I heard a great new poem.  And two longer, conversational type stories.

The group is new this past September, and this is the first time I was privileged to meet with them.

I suppose the story of the bus driver, a fire, and poor decisions was a highlight.  You’ll have to wait til the group’s book comes out (Pearls from the Prairies)!

My schedule doesn’t suit the usual meeting times, but I’ll have to see what I can do.  Nothing like a good story, good table talk and a bit of tea to provide an evening’s delight!

Co-incidence?

Friday, February 10th, 2006

So, it’s Thursday lunch.  I’m sitting at Tim Horton’s!

24 hours earlier my PDA showed no sign of movement for this time slot.  In fact, my wife had asked if I was going to be home for lunch.  My answer?  Yes.

Then I receive an email in the morning.  A pastor friend, Randall Friesen, from Prince Albert is on his way through and will be around for lunch.  Am I available?  “Sure!” – I emailed back.

At 11:45, I’m completing a meeting and getting ready for my “impromptu” lunch.  I miss a call and search to find out the source.  Another pastor friend from Prince Albert, Dan Haugan and his wife Bev,  are at Tim Horton’s and I’m invited for lunch.

As I wander down to the local eatery, I’m asking myself how many times a double booking can work so well! 

Both pastors are men whom I had worked closely with in Prince Albert. 

Both pastors are men who blessed me and encouraged me in my ministry as I lunched with them. 

Both were God’s appointment.

Ginghamsburg again!

Thursday, February 9th, 2006

Years ago I got the website of Ginghamsburg church on CD.

That was back when web design was new, and churches were just getting involved in the web and the whole media revolution.  Now, we would consider the design basic and the site fairly static.

So, take yourself to their site now.  They continue to be on the front edge of using computers for the church.  The site is clean, usable and relevant.

Jill ran across their site when she wanted to look at some sermons – she’s considering speaking at a women’s meeting.  The sermon archives (scroll to the bottom to get to previous sermons – back to 1997) not only have the sermon (in audio, video and sometimes written), but also have comment points, graphics and other attachments.  On the home page you can find the sermon podcasts as well.

And what about a daily journal?  Check out this approach which is all electronic – the video promo is great!

On being connected

Thursday, February 9th, 2006

Six of us church workers have been trying to get together since the new year.  Hasn’t happened!

Remember, this is small town Saskatchewan.  We figure once a month should not be hard.

The latest attempt was interrupted by two funerals. 

I’ve committed to buying pencils for one person – he’s penciled the schedule in so many times his PDA is getting holes in it!  Another mentioned this was getting surreal – or as he might call this “sure real.”

Now I’m starting to think of new ways to stay connected.  We email to set up our schedules.  Maybe the handshake and conversation of the internet may have to work??

In a Manor – of speaking

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

Today Jill and I will wander over to our local senior’s manor for a birthday party.  This facility works mostly with care level 3 – 4 (in our health care system, this is just prior to hospitalization and also includes those who are disoriented, unable to care for themselves, and for whom home care would be unadvisable). 

We won’t have a long time together.  The program is planned for 2:30 with very short introductions, perhaps a song and then just being with the people.  And therein lies the effort and the joy!

Not everyone who comes will remember later what happened.  Not everyone who is there will enter into interesting and coherent conversation.  But everyone who is there is God’s creation and as such is dignified with his image!  So, we will gently touch people, speak about their birthdays, and bless them in God’s name.

Annuals

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

With this year’s weather, we may be out planting in the next few weeks (OK, last night was down to around -20, but warm weather is on the way).

 I’m not a great gardener, but I’ve watched my wife carefully arrange flower beds with annuals.  The first plants you want to put in are the early bloomers.  If you miss their growing season, might as well pack it up till next year.  Then the mid summer night’s dreams and finally the one’s that just beat the frost.  

These annuals spring up, wither and then die.  Their seeds are gathered.  Next year the plants bloom again through that shell that looked dead but somehow survived as a seed.

On the other hand, perennials just keep popping up each year.  They remain in the ground and rejuvenate with warm weather, water and willing gardeners (I’ve been known to kill off rhubarb – a great perennial that used to come up every year until I got a little too close with the rototiller!).

Both types of plants make for a great garden.

Last night we had our annual meeting.  The church has seen some beauty die, and just a little seed remains – we are hoping to see those plants flourish once again.  Some programs have a life sustaining ability that goes on from year to year.  And along the way we want to pick up some new plants to add colour and hue to the landscape!

But the true secret of the garden we call Kindersley Alliance Church?  It’s the people who tend the plants and watch over the growth!  Congratulations to each and every one of you!!!

Phoning tree!

Saturday, February 4th, 2006

Day’s off tend to be “on” days for the phone. 

Our son called from shipside – he could be home in a month or so.  Called a single mother who needs a washing machine.  Contacted two people with cancer.  Jill talked with a colleague in her “Kids in the Kitchen” program.

And all before the evening falls.

Some would call this interruption – I call it community.  Keep the conversation going!