Archive for October, 2009

Our son is off!

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Tim away - Oct 30, 2009 Friday afternoon we ventured into Saskatoon.  And an adventure it has become – with actual gridlock in mid afternoon on Idylwyld Drive and Circle Drive.  Which would not have been a problem if not for the reason we were there!

Our son was to fly out to Heathrow Airport in London for a time on board a ship as a stage manager.  The arrival time at the airport was to be one hour prior to departure.  We made it about five minutes late.

But, the check-in was extremely quick.  Two people in line prior to Tim’s check-in.  The security check was expected to be slowed since renovations were happening.  When he stepped through security there was only one person ahead of him.  He had a good 3/4 of an hour before departure as he headed to the departure lounge.

We have enjoyed our time with Tim these past two months.  We expect to see him again in four months.  May God bless and keep him, and may His face shine upon Him in all he does.

How things coincide

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

As I was preparing . . .

Last week Jason Ambros preached at our church.  This was one of those occasions where he graciously offered to preach with short notice. 

Jason’s topic was on suffering.  As a blessing (my paraphrase!). 

As I prepared for this week’s sermon, I returned to the scripture passage I have been working through.  There, in the midst of the next few verses was another take on suffering. 

Sometimes I think God just does this to surprise me!!


Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

For quite some time I’ve had stomach problems.  The greatest problem is not so much pain but nausea.  I find that my mind becomes clouded and I lose perspective.  I think I’m gaining a sense of the unease of “morning sickness” that pregnant women talk about.

This morning I awoke with nausea.  I took some gravol and by mid-morning I was in fair shape.  An enjoyable lunch at one of our local senior residences was a welcome break in the day.  The afternoon saw a flu shot and N1H1 vaccine.  By later afternoon the nausea was once again present.  A short rest helped but now, later in the evening, there is a hint of queasiness. 

This is when good health is most truly appreciated – just when one’s health is less than sterling.  Well, I expect a good evenings sleep may help and I trust for a better day tomorrow!

The Truth Project

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Last night 28 people met together. 

This was first intended as a small group of around 10 people.  Then some heard about it — we were looking at 20 people.  Others wanted to know more and we showed a promo video in a church service.  The numbers continued to mushroom until now we have three small groups that first meet and then split!

The first session was Sunday night.  On the concept of truth and the vitality of a sensible, stable understanding of truth.  The next few weeks will cover all sorts of things related to worldviews.  The small group I’m leading caught the import of the video shown and spent good time in discussion and prayer – this small group is designed to see transformation, not just information! 

Want to know more of what we are looking at?  Check out

Old age and sin

Monday, October 26th, 2009

I check out Keith Drury’s writing every once in a while.  Keith is a prof at Indiana Wesleyan University.  He is known throughout the Free Methodist denomination – both as a writer and a controversialist! 

For those who work with Seniors, here is a good article on the sins of seniors.  Otherwise, just to see what he writes on check out

Have fun!

The discipline of tidying up

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Cleanliness is next to godliness.

Great phrase – must have been put out there by an OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) who loved to rearrange things, categorize them, and put things in an “order”. 

I guess I would be guilty of that!!  Four days at the estate house and I loved it!  Picking things up and moving them so they were symmetric.   Finding little pieces of tissues that had been tucked away and gently whisking them into a garbage can.  Making a clutter look like a spacious dwelling by just moving a few things to a new location.

Now that I’m over 50 I’m beginning to recognize that this is not just an old age thing for me.  25 years ago I took a library science degree, in part because libraries are about putting things in place so they are accessible. 

But perhaps the memory that sticks out comes from my grade eight year.  We were living in Toronto and headed down to the Royal Winter Fair.  My father and mother, both with farm roots, loved to see the animals and look at the new farm machinery.  I was caught up with the shiny “toys” and collected as many brochures as possible.

Now, what did I do when I got home?  I put them all into my own classification system (which I still maintain was better than Dewey Decimal or Library of Congress).  With tabs in place and brochures settled into their home, I would extract a brochure and think about what it would be like to be on a farm with the latest and greatest machinery.  Then I started sending for more of the brochures by using the addresses off the brochures. 

That all worked until the day my parents got a call from a salesman who wanted to talk to “Ron Baker” about some farm machinery. 

That was the end.  At that age, I just liked to put things in order and dream of what technology can do – I wasn’t going to buy a farm, run a dairy or seed a field.  So I stopped sending for brochures and a few months later the brochures found the garbage can.

But not the mentality that things should be put neat and tidy so that you can find what you need when you need it.  Avoid the frustration of the futile search.  Join the ranks of those who have “a place for everything and everything in it’s place.”

Now, where are my glasses – I probably should read this before I post it!!

Day three and four

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Yesterday I continued in working through a mental inventory of my father’s household items.  As executor of his estate I need to know what is there.

By the end of the day I could lie in bed and picture each room and it’s contents.  At some point I’ll come back and put things down on paper.  For the moment I have an idea so that I can prepare for any repair, renovation or upgrades that need to be done.

By 11:30 I wandered up to the care home where my mother was about to have lunch.  Visiting with her is enjoyable, but her short term memory is short.  I’m not sure she will remember the visit, but I will.

When I arrived home at 4:30 I unpacked, had supper and am now going to relax for the evening.  So ends my personal retreat – which has been refreshing!  Thank you for your prayers as I have ventured out!

Second day – when it hits!

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Today I continued with inventorying my father’s house.  You begin to realize that we all have our ways of doing things.  Dad was a writer and a record keeper.  You can trace all sorts of his activities over the years.  A very special legacy.

I suppose I was hit most as I was cleaning pictures off the fridge.  There were our grandchildren – and they won’t see dad any more.  Neither will I!  I broke down and cried for a bit.  I suppose that is a sign of a life well lived, that they will be missed!

Tomorrow?  I’ve straightened up most of the house.  I know where things are and what will need to be done in coming months as I work as executor of the estate.  So, now I can return to those things that struck me most and meditate a little on them.

To all a good night!

First day – retreat

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Well, I had the greatest time of visiting with my sister.  This is all a part of dealing with my dad’s death!  We were talking about what happens now, as executor (on my part) and personal guardian for my mother (on my sister’s part). 

And part of the discussion also recalls dad.  His journals are in my view.  His clothes are boxed.  His final medications are listed as they were administered, and then a final sign indicating that was the last medications given by my sister.  Finality in ink!

As executor of the estate, I have also looked over the house.  Foolishly, I thought I could fix a washer in the kitchen faucet.  So I just took a few things apart.  Figuring I would just look, until the whole thing burst forth, spewing water all over the kitchen. 

I didn’t know where the shut off valve was!  You soon become thankful for years of doing incidental plumbing renovations.  I guessed the furnace and hot water heater room.  Found the hot water valve right away.  But the main shut off?  I wandered (quickly, I must admit) following pipes in the ceiling.  Nowhere!

Back to the furnace room.  Look closer to the floor and closer to the wall.  There it was! I quickly shut it off and ran upstairs.  The floor was flooding.  Thankful for the old 60’s style of flooring with vinyl where the vinyl goes up the wall to form the quarter round, not much water escaped to the basement.

Of course, the big question was where the mop was.  Onto the phone with my sister – mop found and deployed.  But there was a need for a replacement faucet.

Again, sister to the rescue.  We have to go to the next town to find a hardware store!  Off she went, I mopped and when she arrived we put the new faucet in.  Less than a half hour of work (I’m thinking of becoming a plumber – as long as I know where the shut off valve is!).  Clean up continued and supper was held off til 8:00 pm.

Now I’m just enjoying the evening listening to some of my favourite music on my computer.

I couldn’t have planned a better retreat day.  I loved it!  I’m thinking of patenting this approach to retreats.  I’m going to call it the “wonder” retreat.  You never know what will come next!!

Getting ready

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Thank you to those who have wished me well and will be praying for me as I head to a personal retreat.  I will be secluded in a house by myself in a town by itself in a province no one used to even notice!

As I packed I looked for enough clothes (no formal wear on this trip!), enough food (with the help of my wife I won’t starve) and enough mental stimulation (books, computer and other paraphernalia).

Now, since this is a personal retreat, maybe I’ll stay in my pajamas, fast and not read a thing!  Nice thing about this retreat – there is no fixed schedule.  I’m seeking rest, relaxation and time alone – well, God will be there – which is the best way to go!  If you don’t hear from me again for the next while, don’t worry, I’ll be back!!