Archive for June, 2010

Leaving Waunakee

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

What a pleasant trip to date!  Monday we overnighted in Fargo, North Dakota.  One of those unexpected motels where the amenities were far beyond the price. 

And in the morning, as I was using the exercise room, in walks someone who looks very familiar.  At least 15 years ago since I’d seen his face.  Dave and  Sheri Olson were friend in Regina.

We both finished our exercise, headed off to our rooms and came together for a quick breakfast.  Caught up on children, such things as retirement (which we are both approaching).

Then we headed to a sleeper of a town called Waunakee.  Just outside Madison, Wisconsin.  We toured the local park, saw a mother throwing a baseball (she was practicing her pitching) and then wandered over two arched bridges crossing their flowing stream.

A great start to our vacation.

Summer challenge – 4over8

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

The sermon and the handout of the summer challenge is  online.  Check them out under the sermon heading on

As many of us head into the chaos, changing schedules and disrupted lives of summer our spiritual lives can be derailed.  Here is a simple, easy challenge to help us direct that summer chaos into a spiritual adventure. 

Simply put, you are being asked to regularly jump into four books over the eight weeks of this summer (4over8).  For some of you that will actually mean reading, others will pick up MP3 or audio tapes of the books, others will find videos of the books. 

The books?  They are commonly called the Gospels!  Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  The first four books of the New Testament.

As you read, listen, or see these books, ask yourself the Jesus question – “Who do you say I am?” or put in another way – “What is your opinion of me?”.  Ask the question as you read a verse or a chapter or a story about Jesus.  Hopefully over the eight weeks of the summer you will come up with both old and new thoughts about Jesus.  Every revival and restoration in the church has been a rediscovery of some aspect of Christ in the process of answering the ultimate question that Jesus put to His disciples:  “Who do you say I am?”

4over8 could prove to be a significant spiritual experience in your life this summerYou may want someone else to join you in this adventure.  Print out the attached and hand it out to a friend – or even an enemy that could use it!  Let’s see where this challenge takes us this summer!


Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Here is the challenge I will put before our congregation tomorrow.

Over eight weeks time, read four books – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  These four books capture Jesus of Nazareth from birth, to death, to life.

What if reading the Gospels retooled us?  What if we were able to extract from an obvious and commonplace story that which is powerful and yet humble?  What if we were able to place ourselves alongside Jesus?

Here is a statement I’m coming to enjoy:  “Every revival and restoration in the church has been a rediscovery of some aspect of the Christ in the process of answering the ultimate question Jesus put to His disciples:  ‘Who do you say I am?’ ” (Matthew 16:16, Mark 8:29)

Or, in a more contemporary lingo – What is your opinion of Jesus?

Well, I always figure to have an opinion, you need to know something about what you are going to be opinionated about.  So, let’s over the eight weeks of summer read the four book of the stories of Jesus!

A new purse

Friday, June 25th, 2010

To holiday requires more space.  Or at least equal space to the current container.

So, my wife has bought a new purse.  I enjoyed the shopping excursion and even helped to pick the bag.  We examined the size, compared the volume and purchased outright the best of the lot.

Now, at home, we have been filling the purse.  Quickly the purse is expanding.  My new sunglasses are contained therein.  Important papers have a separate section.  Plus the regular things transferred over from the previous purse.

I’m in awe!  My wife is organizing it all and what seems to be a mound of important stuff has become an organized treasure for efficient use.

So, thanks to Jill for all her hard work.  And I’ll try not to add too much more!

Mowing the lawn

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

My day has been busy.  From administration to lunch hour visiting to afternoon preparations, to supper meeting, to wind down time.

And somewhere in there the lawn showed the results of an excess of precipitation. 

Normally that would not be a problem.  Cut the grass in a spare block of time.

But our lawnmower has quit, we are soon on our way for holidays, and we don’t want to buy a new mower until after the vacation is over.

Where to get a mower?  Next door!!

We had used her reel mower a few days ago.  The grass had grown.  So, I figured a quick pass over the lawn after borrowing the mower once again would suffice.  Of course, with a reel mower a greater amount of time would be taken.

I received permission and proceeded to her garden shed.  There she pulled out a gas mower which had been in for repair months ago.  Today it was back.  And today I was able to use the mower.  Only took 1/2 hour, compared to an hour or two.

Which was a good thing,  because as I returned the mower our evening guest arrived.  Thankfully all of this was done within a timeframe that had to have been arranged by someone other than myself.

Thanks to God!  Sometimes the mundane of life seems to provide examples of the Greatest One in life!


Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

When my grandfather came west over 100 years ago, he claimed many mosquitos were as big as a horse.

Now those of you who can measure and weigh horses in your dreams will immediately concur.  As the blood is sucked from you, your whole body begins to feel parched and dry.  Your veins wither and your skin begins to itch. 

Your imagination begins to imagine all of those dread diseases that have migrated to your blood vessels.  From far away Africa, from the Nile basin, from an Asian swamp.  Now you are the breeding ground for a new strain of flu, or perhaps your immunity will fight each adversarial bug to the mat!

A quick swat here and there, and then the squish of blood smattering your clothes.  Not a welcome sight or sound!  Even bug spray may not work to detract these blood-sucking insects. 

The best thing to do?  Stay indoors.

Oh, by the way.  If you ever do collect enough mosquitos – like a few million – there combined size and weight will be that of a horse!!  If guess my grandfather was right.

Monday flows into Tuesday

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

With all the rain we have been having, rivers of water seem to arise constantly.  Water dugouts are filling up and streams of H20 are finding there way into the most unlikely places.

Like the store room of a friend of ours.  She called for assistance so Monday morning was spent trying to figure out what can be done.  Today, I wandered over to hear what the insurance adjuster had to say.  As expected, this was not covered under the terms of her insurance.

So, in the next few months the roof on her addition/store room will need to come off.   We’ll get a few of us and see what can be done.

Right  now I hear thunder.  I wonder what will flow out of tomorrow!

The weekend ends

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Just came from a slo-pitch game.  We won – first legitimate win of the year (two forfeits we won, a whole bunch we lost).  Good exercise to end the weekend.

Saturday began with a 5 km. walk – fundraising for our local camp, Luseland Bible Camp.  Later in the day I pushed a lawn mower – literally pushed – for two hours.  Our gas mower had bit the dust / went up in smoke / saw it’s last breath – you get the idea.  We borrowed a reel mower.  Not hard to push, just requires two or three passes to cut the grass.

This morning was up early once again – a drive to Luseland (45 minutes), a church service, home mid-afternoon.  At that point we cleaned up a bit of our son’s goods that we are storing for him. 

Now we are off for a late evening “fire and ‘smores”.  Good stuff!!

So I like a bit of black gospel!

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Today, I went to – (used to be  A few years ago I had ventured to this site but there was not much there.  They’ve updated and gotten a lot more videos. 

Here is one you might find inspirational.  Mark Schultz has been one of my favourite gospel singers.  He plays a great piano, good vocals with stretching lyrics.  And a bit of that black gospel style never huts.

Chop, chop!

Monday, June 14th, 2010

The last big effort before the summer!  Our seniors group is meeting for their “picnic” tomorrow.  We’ll have around 50 in attendance and pulled beef is the feature on the menu.  And NO, pulled beef is not wieners!  Beef on a bun would be a better description.

So, today I got to accompany my wife to prepare a potato salad.  Chefs spend years learning to chop.  I spent the afternoon.  Radishes, celery and boiled eggs.  Straight lines and slivers and mess. 

But, it all came together.  My wife prepared a great sauce for over the ingredients.  The smell was right.  And tomorrow our seniors will enjoy the taste sensation of fresh potato salad.

If you are thinking of coming to join us, please do!  The tastes will be great, we have a band playing southern gospel music and hymns, and I have a short devotional for all.

Cost?  For our “picnic” there is no cost.   Free to all!!