Archive for September, 2012

Towards the next step

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Today I spent time in commitment to God.  I do not want to be less than fully given to where God would lead me, to what God would want to do with me, or to who God would want me to become.

These steps are never easy.  They require looking back – seeing what has gone on before – the good and the bad!  They require looking ahead – expecting both the good and the bad but believing that God is in control.  And right now?  Trusting that the present commitment will move me to greater heights.

Why School’s die??

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Ever looked into the names of some schools?  Particularly ones that are no longer there? 

Take a look at this plaque for a school no longer there.  The school’s name is “Penkill”.

PenKill school plaque


Friday, September 28th, 2012

Yesterday was uneventful (I had traveling mercies and was able to attend to each place I had on my list).  At the same time there were events.  Epiphanies if you want to call them that.  I can hardly wait to enter day TWO.

The idea today is to meet for lunch with some denominational pastors from the region.  We will discuss our vision for the area.

Now, I called the meeting and I’m providing the meal, so I will work from my agenda.  I want to talk a bit about what I am seeing.  And I want to hear from them. 

This morning will  include a bit of grocery shopping and meal preparation.  After the meal I will see how well I can summarize my visioning thoughts.  In the end, I want to prepare some type of distributable “thing”. 

And Saturday – I’m already working on a bit of a “speech” as I dedicate my life in the burnt offering of a new wineskin!  All sounds mysterious – I’ll have to jot some thoughts in the following blogs on how this has worked.

Pray with and for me in these days.  Deo Gloria!


Thursday, September 27th, 2012

I’m up and cycling.  My morning routine includes 20 minutes of cycling (or 5 miles of riding on my stationary bike).  Then some sit-ups and off to the day ahead.

Today, I’m going to visit a number of places and think, pray and cogitate (look that one up!).  At the end of the day I will synthesize and prepare for Day TWO.

That which is upon my heart is a new wineskin for my new normal.  That includes work and play, family and friends, and of course how I connect with God.

This is not an attempt to “deconstruct” what is already there.  Instead, I build upon a great legacy in my life.  And I look for an even great joy and service in the coming years.

Who knows how many years we may have.  If today is the next day of your life, consider what your Day ONE should look like as you look into your future!!

Visioning Advance

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

I’m headed into a few days of visioning. 

Last night I began a preparation process – which didn’t feel much like preparation.  But as I awoke this morning, my brain must have been functioning.  All sorts of ideas have bubbled up and I’m off to the type of “retreat” that suits me!

Pray for me as I go about this exercise.  The simple question I am asking myself is:  “In three years time what will my vocation (calling from God) look like?”  This encompasses three points of intersection – the church I do my “vocare” (calling) in, my own life, and my God.

I will “officially” begin tomorrow and am hoping to have a ceremony of commitment by Saturday.  I’m eager to see what this looks like!

Grandkid birthday cards

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

So, I guess I get a little latitude here!  As a proud grandfather, I was quite pleased when Christopher and Hannah prepared their version of BCARDS!

Below is their artwork.  Christopher’s is the much more organized picture with the family standing around and enjoying a day together.  Hannah is much freer in her thought – something about life and the world and those big picture things that happen all around us.

chris and hannah bcard 2012 small

When God is Present

Monday, September 24th, 2012

There is a curious passage in the Bible.  One of those that is unexpected. 

In the midst of talking about a thing called spiritual gifts, and proper decorum in church services arises a gem.  Here is the passage in I Corinthians:

24 But if all of you are prophesying, and unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your meeting, they will be convicted of sin and judged by what you say. 25 As they listen, their secret thoughts will be exposed, and they will fall to their knees and worship God, declaring, “God is truly here among you.”

How do we display to others that God is with us?  How about a little prophecy in the church?

This thought struck me as  I was listening to our associate pastor, Ryan Lee, preach yesterday.  He is well worth listening to, as he begins a series on prophecy.  You can hear the sermon at


Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

What fun September 21st was this year.  I had a small, short party!  No, the people were not short – the party was short.  Nor were the people small . . . OK, I’ll stop the descriptions there!  All this was held in my office at the church in the morning.  I think I blew out all the candles on the cake, although one was rather stubborn.

Then I traveled up to visit my daughter and the grandkids (Scott was off working in Manitoba).  On the way, I stopped by to see Randy and Connie Friesen.  And there was more cake!

Alli and Grandkids - September 22, 2012And finally to Alli’s where we had another cake!  And ribs!  And fun around the table. 

The trip was only planned as a birthday party, so I headed back today – with this picture of the family in my mind.

On my birthday

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Some started early.  Wishes have been coming in for a happy birthday.  Along with cards and one of those gifts you have to enjoy.

wineskin 2 smallA gift of a new wine skin.  Literally from Spain.  The symbolism is biblical.  The application is contemporary.   There are historical and prophetic implications for me.  Maybe some day I will reveal that to the one who gave the gift.  Sneak preview:  there is a sense of vision and mission attached.  I love it.

Tonight I dine with my daughter and her family.  The cake will be one of the many I enjoy.  She won’t tell me which one.  A birthday surprise. 

This morning one of the ladies of the church will bring by a cake for myself and staff and anyone else who shows up to celebrate.

59 years.  Alive and loving it!!

Reflecting and forwarding

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

I hit my 59 birthday on Friday.  In past years, I have found that the birthdays just prior to decadal numbers (20, 30, 40, 50) have signaled changes in my life.

This year has been no different.  In fact, probably this year will have some of the greatest impact!

With Jill’s death I have had to reflect on my own life.  I’m finding protocols and approaches to others have changed.  While married life carries certain restrictions, because of love and respect for each other, singleness also carries certain restrictions.

Matchmakers consider you a new prospect.  Service groups see a person who should have greater time.  Family and friends stop you in public spaces and want to hug and console you. 

None of these are bad.  In fact, they are signs of love and concern.  At the same time, you are still figuring out how you approach members of the opposite sex, how you decide on what religious and civil duties to take on, and how you divide your time between friends and family and the broader community. 

In this case, for the good  of myself and others, I am finding that I must restrict myself.  There is much good, but what is the best.  And in doing so, while encouraging some, I disappoint others.

Oh, the joys of being a widower!