Archive for June, 2012

When friends meet

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Well, earlier this evening I was off to a reception for a couple Jill and I had done  pre-marital counseling with.  The hall was just a few blocks away.

I walk in the door and see some local people.  They look as though they are the only familiar faces in the crowd.  So I volunteer to sit with them.  Then I head off to get some punch, and begin to encounter others.

Sarah had mentioned her parent’s friends.  Particularly this small group that had stayed together over the years – along with their families!  They no longer lived in the same town, but they kept up contact.  The “group” and their kids showed up!

And in the midst of this group.  The Cappelles – a couple who had worked with our music ministry in Prince Albert.  And my cousin Norm Stonehouse, and his family.   Well, I abandoned this other couple (they had also run across people they knew) and headed off to sit with my cousin and his family.  What fun!

As the reception came to the nine o’clock hour, I slipped away to visit with other friends who were passing through town.  They had been part of our music ministry in Prince Albert.  Along with another family we have known for years, we laughed, and discussed, and condolences were shared.  I was refreshed.

Now how good is that!  Don’t abandon your friends – they will prove your support in the years ahead!

Transplanted bush

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Jill loved red bushes and trees.  This past week, in Ontario, my morning walks saw me pass a multitude of these!

I came home and wandered into our back yard.  A few years ago,  in our “garden space”, we had left two red bushes.  Just for the sake of having red bushes. 

They were not seen.  They were trimmed a few times.  The rototiller had to carefully bypass them. 

Overall they needed a new home.

So today, I went out and moved one.  To the front yard flower bed. 

Will it take root?  We’ll see. 

But at least now, in plain view is a red bush.  A reminder and an opportunity for a new beginning.

Upon reading the Bible

Friday, June 29th, 2012

I was pushed to read a passage of Scripture today.  The reference to it came from a devotional book.

Here is the King James Version version:

Oh Lord, righteousness belongeth unto Thee, but unto us confusion of faces. – Daniel 9:7a

Confusion of faces?  Other versions talk about shame.  Others combine the two.

So I checked the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Old Testament).  That has faces as well!  And the Hebrew also uses “face” in the phrase. 

And so I began to think (and bounce this off our associate pastor).  If God is the one that is righteous, when we look in that direction there is no sense of being two faced or confused about what is right.  The problem is with us as people.  We have a confusion on our faces.  And as we look at one another, there is also a confusion on our faces.  We are shamed because we do not know right from wrong – our faces show it! 

Early signs that the Bible understood “body language?”

When a comment is all you need

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Yesterday morning I awoke to branches sprayed all over the yard.

The last few days before I arrived back, the sky had been ominous yellow and the clouds and weather unpredictable.  Wind storms churned up the sky last night.  So much so, that truckloads of debris have been taken to our local dump today!

In the early hours of the morning, I raked up what branches I could.  In the evening, a neighbour hauled them away.

My first thoughts as I was raking were – “I wonder what Jill would say.”

You see, in the past few years she was unable to do a lot of manual labour.  Her love of gardening was restricted.  She would watch me in the morning, out our back window.  Then, when I arrived inside, she would remark on the little things that made up the work I had been doing.

Nothing big.  Just something she noticed.  The comment was not earth shattering.  But the comment was recognition that she was watching and cared about what I was doing.

Some of the greatest things I miss are the small chatterings of companionship.

Look what the wind blew in!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Quite literally the wind was strong and huffed and puffed and blew at me on the way home last night.

I arrived in at midnight and awoke  to the morning with branches all over the ground.  I cleaned some up, but as I look out my window, I see more coming down.  One lady was out checking her shingles!

So, I return to much to do and much ado! 

God always has His ways of keeping us on our toes – or at least braced for a bit more wind!

I’m stepping out the door

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Well, I’m on my way to Saskatoon for a memorial for my wife, Jill.

You are invited to attend!  The service will be at 2:00 in Belleville at “The Core” church.  My two children and two grandchildren will be there.  Jill’s brothers and sisters will also attend, along with my mother-in-law and other relatives.  As well, I expect some community people may come.

This is the final memorial service we have planned.  I have been so encouraged by each one that has come to the other two services (Kindersley, Prince Albert).  This will also be a great encouragement and I look forward to it!


Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

So, I’m in the midst of thinking.  Anytime during the day.

Somehow the thought continually enters my mind, “What Would Jill Say?”  In the midst of dark thoughts, I’m heartened that she would “poke” me and send my thoughts elsewhere.  In the midst of bright thoughts, I’m heartened that she would remind me not to get too excited, but she would be excited with me.

As I thought through this, my mind then went to my own thoughts about how close Jesus is to me.  “What Would Jesus Say?” seems to have a much more distant ring to it.  I didn’t spend 35 years with Jesus, like I did with Jill. 

But I have spent 50 years following after Jesus.  Every once in awhile His Spirit does jog my memory towards doing the right thing, and when I’m happy there is this sense of peace that comes in (un)spoken ways.

So today, I’m wondering and wandering back to Jesus.  Just to catch a glimpse from others about Him, and to examine my own life to see where His path has intersected my path, and to ask Him to spend time talking with me today.

Dropping cable TV

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

For the last few weeks, since my wife’s death, I have not been watching cable TV.   A few days ago, I decided to cancel my subscription.

A few years ago the idea might have been the opposite.  Instead of jumping on the internet option – getting wireless connections, and so on – most would have opted for the cable or satellite TV otpion.

Now, with so many videos available on the internet, and with regular TV programming usually streamed and available at a later date, you might as well stick with an internet connection.

Remember when the regular stations, such as CBC and CTV, were decrying that cable TV would ruin their industry – they would have to shut down and close their doors.

Well, now the cable TV providers could also make the same cry.  But, the whole media industry has changed. Things are interconnected and instead of just one medium, most providers are into many different aspects of reaching their society.

Not unlike what the church should be doing??

Baker skills

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Quite literally today, I baked!

Now, I’m a Baker, but not a baker!  So, over these last few weeks, I’ve been trying to learn a little bit about cooking and making meals.  I actually enjoy the idea – the actual thing is another thing!

My son showed me how to make apple pie when he was here a few weeks ago.  I sent for the recipe Saturday and Tim forwarded the recipe yesterday. 

I purposed today to try it out. 

Now wonder many women don’t cook pies.  The crust is the real obstacle.  I threw out the first batch when I couldn’t quite roll it right.  The second batch had problems as well, but I wasn’t about to try a third time!

Below is the result.  Haven’t tried it out yet – but by faith I’m believing that I will survive the taste test and enjoy the results!!

apple pie - small

Hail in June!

Monday, June 18th, 2012

hail storm small - June 17, 2012 Just what we are looking for on June 17th.  Four hours later, I still had a mound of hail at the end of my downspout!

And to think that summer begins on June 20th, just 3 days away!

So, I’m considering this prayer for the following days:  May our summer be blest with the sun’s rays and a bit less hail!