Archive for December, 2006

Two moving experiences

Friday, December 29th, 2006

At 11:00 this morning was my first.  At 4:00 pm was my second.

The 11:00 appointment was to help tangible boxes and containers enter a house from a diesel truck.  This was truly moving!  By 2:00 all the boxes and other items were in the house.  The new owners were glad to have a group of us available to assist them.  Free pizza and pop!!  John and Annette, may you enjoy Kindersley!

Then at 4:00 I officiated a wedding.  Both were seniors (even though they might not like that designation!).  As widowers this was a second wedding for both of them.  There is something about the steadiness of age and maturity that makes for a memorable occasion.  Art and Gladys, may you have a God blessed wedding.

Trying to plan ahead!

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

I thought December 29th was going to be fairly straightforward.

Back in September I had planned to celebrate my father’s birthday by phoning him.  Other than that — the day was free!

Then October progressed into November and a wedding arose.  So I committed to do that wedding as well — December 29th.

Meanwhile our basement was being used by a boarder who was attempting to get a house in town.  That was to take place the beginning of November or shortly thereafter.  He and his family will move in December 29th.  I will show up to say “Hi” and maybe move a few boxes.  I’ve tried to arrange for others to help out.  There were three or four who tentatively agreed.  One was to be hauling grain so couldn’t give a final word until he knew if the elevator was open for delivery.  Two others found out about a funeral and another found out about some furniture that needs to be moved immediately (and not our boarder’s furniture).  Only God knows who will show up!

I don’t like uncertainty.  With the New Year around the corner I’m reminded that resolutions are our way of gaining certainty.  The older I get the less I believe New Year’s resolutions work.  Yes, they are a guideline.  But I’m beginning to like the old latin phrase DV “Deo Volente” — God Willing.  That is where certainty actually needs to rest!

Rosetown Christmas 2006

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

Here we are — at my sister’s house in Rosetown, SK, for Christmas.  The turkey was great, and wait til you try out marshmellow “pea shooters”, gyroscopes and Connect Four.  A fun day had by all!!


Mirror Image

Monday, December 25th, 2006

Our daughter arrived for Christmas Eve.  Along with her came our grandson, Christopher, and Allison’s fiance, Scott Opseth.

Shortly after our Christmas Eve day service the travellers arrived.  We sat down for lunch, and completed our eating later in the day with a Christmas Eve meal.  Our usual tradition is to exchange one gift before we head off to bed — pajamas.  Before we snuggled into our new nightware, Christopher needed bath.

Amazing how many people you can place in a small area.  Notice the picture below — do you see a centre of attention?  My guess is Christmas Day will see much the same focus — we’re headed to Rosetown to see my sister and her family.  Their four children will no doubt make babysitting a fine art as they play with Christopher.

Internet and all that technology!

Saturday, December 23rd, 2006

I’m one of those who have enjoyed technology for years.  The enjoyment goes in cycles.

There is a day when you find something new.  You diligently explore approaches.  You (meaning “I”) read the manual — that’s how I work best.  Then I approach the technology.  I try it out.  If I read something, I’ll see if I can make it work in reality.

After a while, you tire of the new technology.  Or more rightly, you have mastered it so you move on to other things.  Each part that you have learned in the past contributes to your understanding of new technology.  Soon you can move into something quickly and with confidence.

Until you forget to backup something, and you lose some of those good things you have been working on.  Today I did just that.  Thought I had everything backed up and that the program was running fine.  Pushed the wrong button and the backup wasn’t complete.  I’ll be working to replace that piece of data in the near future. 

Until then, I’ll kick myself a few times and move on.  Maybe there is a new piece of technology just waiting around the corner!

Knee caps, high flex and grouting!

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

So today I’m at the office – the doctor’s.  Not just any doctor – the knee surgeon’s.

Dr. Lobback stepped into the examination room.  We chatted.  I asked if his children had ever been to Israel — 1998 to be exact.  Yes, they had.  Some of our friends had gone over with them to Israel.  Gave him their names to pass on to his kids.

He asked if I wanted knee replacements.  I figured this would take some convincing on my part.  He said I was a young man — too soon for knee replacements.  But then he claimed that my knees were in bad shape and I needed to have the surgery.  I was not just to get one bone worked on — my knees were too far past that.  I was not to just get one knee worked on — both knees needeed attention.

So, six months to a year from now I’m hoping to get surgery.  I can’t act like a twenty year old – although they say my knees will feel like it.  At least a month needs to be booked off for recovery (I won’t be able to stand up to preach — maybe I’ll need to get someone to do some of the preaching).  At least three months of phsiotherapy.

I knew I didn’t have too much planned for this coming year.  And now I’m going to start working on alternate plans.  In many ways this is just what I need — to let other work in their area of giftedness instead of doing all the work myself.

Now, let me explain my title.  I was told that grouting is what holds the knees replacements on the bones.   I always used grouting to fix my tiles in the bathroom.  I wonder if they coat the grouting with silicone?

The knees are expected to be high flex — more than 90 degrees of motion when they are in place.  Older replacements were not quite as flexible.

And finally — is this an urban myth?  I understand that when you are born you do not have knee caps.  They develop in the first year.  I guess my knee caps could use a little more development — they are a bit worn.  Do they do knee cap replacement — or do I become like a child and grow them back?

The things that work!

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

Loved a little statement as we toured around Saskatoon yesterday and today.

“Even the lowly mosquito doesn’t get a slap on the back until he begins to work.”

On the way to Saskatoon we stopped to see renovations on my sister’s house and to see a dying aunt.  Somehow those two together don’t seem related — other than the fact that they are relatives!!

But, as I thought of it . . . My aunt has been in the renovation of her heart for well over 80 years.  She has a gracious spirit in the midst of cancer that is advancing.  She knows of her final destiny — her heart has been Jesus’ heart for decades.

As we walked through house renovations, I was reminded that nothing of the material world around us will last!  If there is a starting point for renovations, the heart is by far the best place to start.  The rest can happen as needed.  But if the heart is not renovated in this life time, a life time to follow will forever be affected.

Consider the work of the heart — certainly a better work than that of the mosquito!

Family Feud

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

A number of years ago there was a TV show that worked off the idea of family cooperation.  As I remember it, the opposite could also be true — families in this show could also hate each other.  The deciding factor was how each family member responded to the other in the midst of tense situations.

This past week I attended two funerals where there were strained relations.  While family members might sit on the same bench, the minutes were spent far from each other.  Some family members didn’t even show up or want involvement in funeral preparations.

The other day I was talking to my parents.  As we finished our conversation, my father said quietly, “Love you.”  I have heard that from him for many years.  But somehow it struck me this time around.  He has said that same thing to all of us kids.  My mother does the same.  We as siblings are also on good terms.

I will look forward to the next funeral in our family.  Not in a morbid way!  But in a way that the gathering will be a celebration of a person’s life.  And the gathering will be a time to speak to each other with gracious tones and not with harsh invectives.

May no family feuds interrupt peace on earth and goodwill toward men!

Dag Hammarskjold on life issues!

Monday, December 18th, 2006

A decade ago I received a present from a friend, Randy Friesen (surgeon, not to be mistaken for Randall Friesen, pastor and also a friend).  The book was called “Markings” written by Dag Hammarkjold, former secretary general of the United Nations.

Every once in a while I return to these short, pithy statements.  This is really a journal Dag kept over a number of years.  Today I was looking at some things he said when he was around my age.

Try this one out for Christmas eve thinking (written 12.24.60) — “How proper it is that Christmas should follow Advent.  For him who looks towards the future, the Manger is situated on Golgatha, and the Cross has already been raised in Bethlehem.” 

Or, from page 91 — “I am the vessel.  The draught is God’s.  And God is the thirsty one.  —  In the last analysis, what does the word “sacrifice” mean?  Or even the word “gift”?  He who has nothing can give nothing. The gift is God’s — to God.”

Let’s move back to when Dag was around 20 – 25 years of age.

“Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step:  only he who keeps his eye fixed o nthe far horizon will find his right road. — Never measure the geight of a mountain, until you have reached the top.  Then you will see how low it was. — Life only demands from you the strength you possess.  Only one feat is possible – not to have run away.”  (p. 7-8)

The Christmas program that was!

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

Today our children and  youth ran a Christmas program.  Music (with a brass band!), drama, scripture reading and even a meal!  Here is just one picture from a myriad of audio and visual landscapes!