Archive for May, 2007

Life's stops and starts

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

We visited Gordon today before his surgery.  Then at around 3:00 we met his caregivers, Elsie and Marla.  They called us to their coffee table in the mall of the hospital.  Gordon’s surgery had been postponed because of an emergency case.  Gordon was now sleeping.

I began to remember back.  To times when medical interventions had been postponed or rescheduled.  The sense of anticipation, and then not being able to fulfil the anticipation.  As a caregiver, I felt helpless and yet anticipated the next opportunity — which seemed just around the corner.  I am convinced more than ever that the emotions can tire us as easily, and often more effectively, than physical exertion.

Imagine a young boy setting up a ramp for a bicycle jump in the driveway.  Just as he is riding towards the jump his mother halts him.  The ramp is moved so Dad can get in the driveway.  Next day he can set up once again.  That night he lays awake, tired and disappointed.  But also anticipating tomorrow.  The question is which emotion is strongest?  Which orientation will rule his life?

I guess this is a life question.  We all have dashed expectations.  That’s why we pay therapists and seek spiritual healing. 

What is to come in the day after? 

One hint is contained in the understanding that the day after is only a part of this life, and that there is also a continuing life thereafter.  A second hint is that there is a loving, eternal, forgiving, all knowing, all powerful God who is for us!  Grab God’s hand and although the winds of dashed expectations may lift you off your feet, God’s got you for the long run!

CD graphics on the way

Monday, May 28th, 2007

Tomorrow I will drop off the "prototype" for the graphics for Wayne Gibson’s CD.  We previewed the possibilities today (Wayne and I).  Now the actual thing is about to happen!  In a few weeks we will drop off the completed Master copy of the audio files to be made into CD’s. 

September 28th is the CD release — come one, come all!!

Tuesday on my mind!

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

The heart of the matter is . . . this Tuesday I’ll visit a man who is headed into heart surgery (provided we arrive prior to the surgical preparation time – unknown exactly when as of yet).  In the same hospital in Saskatoon my wife will have an appointment with a cardiologist.  I’m not sure what will come of each separate incident. 

This does remind me that life is not of our own making.  We can wish, we can plan, we can even plead, but in the end life is a gift.  And God gives and He takes away.  In His time — which is far more far sighted than I will ever be.  Nevertheless, God also asks that we ask.  For our heart’s desires.  Not those things which are competely out of line with who God is and what he stands for.  But rather for those things that concern us.

I’ve got a number of things I’m talking to God about, but here are two things that are high on the priority list!  And, let me be honest about how I am praying.  I wish for long life for my wife.  For my friend I desire a life that is active.

May God grant my requests! 

Resting

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

Saturdays I try to make my day of rest.  Being a pastor, Sunday tends to be rather busy.  Tomorrow, if all plans work out, will be no exception.

Today I awoke and headed of to continue some repairs on our basement.  This is not "work" related, and can be relaxing.

I say can, because there are points of frustration.  Like putting in new gyproc and finding I need to disassemble bathroom cabinets.  Or mudding gyproc and finding more holes than expected.

All in a day’s work – or should I say, "play".

From the basement I proceeded to the outdoors.  We bought a dethatching blade for our mower.  Adjusting it just right is a bit of an art.  We’ll be seeding some areas!

At noon I was off to take two nine year olds out for hot dogs and a movie.  They are both kids of some of our small group members.  The movie was "Happy Feet".  A philosophical animated movie.  Anti-establishment for the sake of bettering the community.  We were two rows from the front – a lot of panning shots which tend to disorient me.  Would I see it again?  Probably not.

At home once again, I sanded some drywall, cleaned up some leaves and watered the lawn.  Now it’s five o’clock and I’m taking a break on the computer.

May your day also have rest and enjoyment.  May God’s sun shine upon you.  But even greater, may his face be seen by you in the busyness of this day!

The heart of the matter

Friday, May 25th, 2007

Hearts are on my mind!

On Wednesday I sat in on my wife’s pacemaker checkup.  The battery is doing well.  Batteries do wear down but she’s not yet there.  But her heart was acting up in April.  We have a cardiologist appoinment on Tuesday.

Gordon Verhaeghe, a friend, has heart problems.  He had a mild heart attack last week.  Tests show he needs bypass and valve replacement surgery.  That is sheduled for next Tuesday.

And later last night I heard Marilyn had a heart attack. She was out at her condo in Summerland, BC.  Final word on what will need to be done is yet to come.

Hearts are central muscle of the body.  When they stop, you stop.  They may wear out, have genetic defects, or be affected by diet and exercise.  Regardless of what brings you to an irregular situation, the facts still present themselves.  You could die.  Preparation for life after death — both for yourself and for those you leave behind — is vital.

As the Boy Scout’s would say, "Be prepared!"  As I would say, "Look Jesus’ way!"

The life of Verhaeghe

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

In days of yore (a great way of saying you remember the old days!), there was a saying — "the life of Reilly." 

Now, I never did get a full explanation of what that was.  My sense as a child?  A lifestyle that was carefree, exuberant, and unfettered.  The end result?  Chaos and mayhem.  Reilly’s utopia ended in "hell."

Then, there is the other approach.  Gordon has gotten himself into various pickles (meaning he can be a bit vinegary at times).  At the same time, there is a true heart of compassion.  Sometimes the balance has been hard to maintain.

But, perhaps the test of relationships comes to days like this past week.  Gordon had a mild heart attack.  He is in for testing.  His hospital room has seen various visitors.  Today, while in Saskatoon, we went to visit him.  The hospital room at the Royal University Hospital was the regular size.  While we were there, no less than eight others were there as well — and that’s not including Gordon.

Therein lies a secret — a secret greater than "The Secret" currently being promoted in bookstores and on Oprah.  That DVD/book is based on selfishness and positive thinking.  "The life of Verhaeghe",  in many ways the opposite and checkered as that life may be, still reaps true friendship.  Not a bad reward!

Rain falls from heaven

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Today the rain fell.  All day. 

No yard work — although we had planned for the exercise.  Instead, Jill came in the house and announced the rain gauge showed one inch of rain.  2.5 centimeters for those in metric mode.

In some places an inch is a pittance.  Here it is a bucket full.  The farmers (those who have seeded) will be happy — even more happy if the sun shines soon and the seeds germinate.

Oh, talk about coming up — the mosquitos are on their way.  Saw some yesterday.  Today’s rain will encourage more.  A bloody nuisance.

Speaking of blood!  After much blood, sweat and mostly laugther the "almost final" version of the CD project "Testify" was burned today.  I’m having withdrawal already!  How’s this for a picture for the front of the CD.

Subversives

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

For a long time I’ve tried to decipher the people who turn the world upside down.

I think I’m getting closer!

I was reading and preaching on Daniel 6 today.  The thing that will get people into the most trouble?  The thing that will create opposition?  The thing that is explosive and dynamic?

PRAYER!

So quiet and seemingly serene an activity.  Rocks the world and changes the landscape!

Hearts, voices and Fridays

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

Thursday night I visited a friend in the hospital.  He had an apparent mild heart attack.  With medication he was feeling well.  Friday he was off to a larger centre for a further assessment.  I’ve appreciated Gordon’s laughter, his quirky sense of humour and his deep concern for others.  I’m praying for recovery!

Friday came with a sermon to prepare, visiting to be done and recording to complete.

Friends from Calgary, Arnold and Phyllis Schellenberg, dropped in.  Their children were a little older than ours.  Jill and I had taught them when they were young.  Now they are 29 and 31.  Arnold and Phyllis are nearing retirement.  The time was sweet and encouraging.  We left each other with prayer.

The evening (5 hours worth) was spent laying down further tracks for Wayne Gibson’s CD called "Testify."  We now have two tracks that are pretty well ready — 8 others that need mixed and one, possibly two tracks, that we would like to add another instrument.  At midnight we finished off a song called "Your Glory."  What a great number.  I haven’t mastered it down yet, but perhaps in the next while I’ll stick a snippet on this site.

At th midnight hour I hit the pillow.  Now Saturday will be spent continuing to work on the CD.  Release date is scheduled for September 28th, here in Kindersley during our Goose Festival.

Hole in the Ground!

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Tonight I cemented.

Not my teeth — I haven’t gone the false way yet!

Instead, the basement demanded help.  I have inserted some new duct work under a two foot section of the floor. 

The cement instructions require that not too much water is added.  Otherwise you decrease the strength of the cement and length the curing time.  I carefully measured in some water and added a bit more (sort of like cooking!!).  Then I trowelled in the mixture, filling in all the cracks.  I left the final topping just a few centimeters short of the floor surface.  I’ll add a final mixture of fine cement to level the floor.

Now, on to the next project — finishing off the basement decor.