Archive for June, 2008

The grass is green!

Monday, June 30th, 2008

I am sitting at my sister’s house in Rosetown writing this post.

I’ve just been outside cutting their grass.  The lawn mower is an electric cordless type.  Unfortunately the battery isn’t made quite as large as their lawn.  For the last few passes my neice and I carried the charger and electric cord, alternating sides to be sure we didn’t cut the cord.

In the end the lawn is beautiful.  I’ve had a great visit with my parents.  And I’m headed home.

I was supposed to be picking up my son in Saskatoon, but his flight from San Juan didn’t quite connect properly.  So, he’s in Newark tonight and back to Saskatoon tomorrow.  Which works out well.  We were to be in Saskatoon for Canada Day and then I head to Ottawa with my friend Brian on Wednesday.

Good night – I’ve got an hour’s travel home and then I’m off to bed and ready for a new day.

Summer is here

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Now, I suppose I’ve been waking up earlier as the sun arises to touch the earth in the early morn. But the real sign of summer is the heat. Sustained heat.

Saturday the baptisms were refreshing. As I stepped from the pool I actually missed the refreshing cool of the water. I felt as though I could easily tan in the sun’s rays.

And today, I sat outside. Not even in the direct sunlight. For an hour and a half. Reading. And feeling heat. And inheriting a heat headache!

A friend of mine worked yesterday doing eavestroughing. His body experienced the heat. As though it were a stroke. Nothing nice – just pain.

Winter does look good some days. Six months from now I’ll say the opposite. And when those middle of the season days arrive, I will not like to be neither hot nor cold!

Oh, the fickleness of the human! We so easily miss being content for the pleasure of complaining. Why, I can even complain about complaining!!

Why I love this life!

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

As a pastor there are few days that are finer!! 

Today was in the mid 20’s Celcius, clear sky and pool water.   Curtis and Rachel Kornelson’s told us of their journeys to God.  Their model, that didn’t skip the realities of life but came to the place of God in it all, was inspiring.  

Then we put them into the water and under they went.  Baptism – a sign of death to the way they would like to do things — and in rising out of the water, coming to life with Jesus to do things His way.

I’d do this again next week!!  Any takers??

Curtis baptism june 22, 2008

rachel baptism june 28, 2008

A friend pops by

Friday, June 27th, 2008

At 8:00 tonight I’m winding down.  I pop to the kitchen to care for some dishes and look out the window.  There is Lane Janke, a friend from years past.  He drops by every so often.

We sit down to tea and talk.  And after an hour or so, we push out the door to the local A&W.  There we talk some more.

I invite Lane to stay overnight.  We gave he same invitation about 30 years ago, and he stayed for months!  Those were the old days.  Today it will just be a short stay with a little extra time to talk some more.

I love friends.  They remind me of the past, refresh me in the present and push me to consider the future.

By the way, Lane paid for the Root Beer — can’t be all bad!!

Linking the links

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

For some time now I’ve stayed away from a lot of web surfing. By websurfing, I mean that constant going from one site to another, idly looking for something new.

I’ve been less and less excited about finding that “something new”. I guess we often go to others for creative thoughts — and that is good. But too often others’ creativity becomes a crutch. Soon there is indeed nothing new under the sun – at least in your own small part of the world.

On the other hand, when you only look to yourself the pickings become fairly slim. You tend to repeat what you already know, maybe a little bit more sophisticated but without a freshness.

Let me add another dimension. That’s what I call the God thing — or as some would say, a thing of “the creator who is the essence of creativity”. Sometimes we encounter a new thought or idea that seems to come from outside of ourselves. And probably it does. Those are true “ah-ha” moments.

Now, the question is to discern when those thoughts are good and when they are less than profitable, loving and caring. Which brings me to the need to understand and to know God. Then creativity will not be blocked, but rather stimulated.

Returning us to the big question of life — how do we know God? Which question, believe it or not, is the question behind the question of my current approach to websurfing!

A New-to-you car

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Today we bought a car.  A 1998 Dodge Neon. 

Not a new car.  In fact one that has a familiar feel.

Last year we borrowed this car while the owner was overseas.  She’s planning to be overseas again for two years.  Just made sense to give the car away — or sell it — which made even better sense.  Only one minor $11.00 two-minute fix-it and things were ready to go.

So, Jill doesn’t have to get up at 7:00 in the morning to drive me to work.  And I don’t have to worry about rides after evening meetings when she needs the car.

All in all, a good deal.

A second funeral

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Today we (the good wife and I) headed 30 minutes south of town for another funeral.  Effie was a new face to us three years ago.  We spent some time with her at the Heritage Manor.  The visits always included questions about ourselves and what we were up to.  We would ask her state of affairs, but she always tempered her answers with gracious words, even if there was obvious pain and suffering.

Effie’s son, Dennis, led a service of remembrance.  I was called on to provide a final prayer.  Then, around tables (for that was the setting for the meeting) we got to meet some new acquaintances.  People from the local area.  Nunweiler, Becker, Lindemann.  All good German names of families from generations back.

Just before the service we popped in to the local seniors manor.  One of  our friends now resides there.  Doreen visited with us and then took us for a tour of the facility.  We were royally introduced as her pastor.  As we left, she hugged and kissed us (OK, she kissed my wife).

These are times of remembrance.  Of memories of the past, and of the present and for the future. 

Another day awaits me tomorrow.  Who knows what that will bring?

On to tomorrow

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

I enjoyed a funeral today. 

Some people wonder if there are good funerals.

Yes, there are.  Where you know the person, their heart and their story.  And the story is consistent with their life.  One that follows Jesus.

Perhaps in a quiet way.  Perhaps in prayers only heard by the wife.  Perhaps in relationships with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that is pure fun, includes teaching and love.

That’s what we saw and heard today.  Sheldon had that certain ability to be quietly gracious. 

Kind of makes you want to be like him.  Not a bad sign of a life of rightness!  The family heads back to Swift Current tonight.  Gene, his wife, will spend a few days at home, then head to one of her children’s — perhaps for the summer.  Mostly for a break. 

And we’ll pray for her and the family.  That God will strengthen and keep her in all her ways.

Kite flight on white, and other photos!

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

 kite in flight on white

Not quite sure what exposures I used, but the kite was flying high!  Not sure that it was even attached to a string.

kite day on the church grounds june 2008

The kite flight was a part of our church picnic.  At one point we probably had more than a dozen kites vying for a space in the air — and not a large space to boot.

Kildeer protection june 2008

Not until later in the afternoon did we realize we had disturbed a kildeer and her nest.  Just in case  you are wondering, we did find the nest and protected it from harm.  Meanwhile, the kildeer did it’s best to attract us away from the nest, even appearing to be hurt, and to puff out all its plumage.

The day continues on

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

There are unexpected days, and some days that contain the unexpected.  Yesterday we were on our way to Prince Albert to visit our daughter overnight.  We had been a number of months since we had seen her and the family.

Part way there we phoned to left our daughter know when we would arrive.  She told us of a call she had received.  Someone had phoned and mentioned their father had died.  Could I phone as soon as I arrived.  She did not have the phone number readily available, so we would get it when we arrived in Prince Albert.

Both my wife, Jill, and I guessed three different men who would fit the bill.  When we phoned upon arriving in Prince Albert, confirmation was given that this was one of the men — Sheldon Elliott.  He was a gracious man, and love wordworking.  In fact, I have some of his oak wood in my garage, given to me when they moved to Swift Current last year.  The funeral will be on Monday at 2:00 with the former pastor, Bruce Dirk, providing the funeral message.  I’ll do the M.C.ing, songleading and scripture reading.  This is a family I have had ties with for well over 30 years.  Their daughter and her husband were my youth sponsors in Grade 11.  This will be enjoyable in the midst of sorrow and mourning!

Upon arrival back in Kindersley today we stopped at the post office.  I wanted to check out Sheldon’s funeral notice (a small town tradition -  posting funeral notices at the post office!).  While there I looked and saw another notice.  A lady who had affiliation with our church had passed away on Thursday.  I had visited her a few weeks ago.  Her cancer had been progressing so the death was no surprise.  I phoned the family and expressed my condolences.  That funeral will be on Tuesday and officiated by her son, Dennis Punter.  Her name was Effie Punter. 

I’ve told Jill I’d better not take any more days off.  They are just way too busy!!