Archive for May, 2013

Graduations

Friday, May 31st, 2013

For eight years I served as a registrar in a post secondary school.

There were days of great joy, days when completing the journey for some students was pure delight (for them, as well as for the faculty as they saw them leave through the front door!).

And then there was the graduation!  For us administrators this was the busy time of year.  If my children wished to accompany me, they would know that dad was “in his grad gown.”  That meant quick steps and short conversations.

Yesterday I attended the grad of my “soon to be” step daughter.  I was awash again with the preparations that go on.  This time I was on the other side.

The administrator who looked after the “show” was running like crazy.  She stopped at our table for a second – and that was about it!  Shades of yesteryears!

The result was a great day.  A ceremony in the morning and a banquet in the evening. 

These are good times.  I enjoyed the day! 

But I’m glad to be on the other side of the table!

A Pastor’s life

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

An 8:00 phone call caught me in the midst of my morning (yes, I was up early, so this was the “midst” of the morning).

The caller had a prayer request to share.  The first few moments were spent just waiting.  Waiting as the caller gained some composure.  Then the story gushed out.  A story that you can’t stop.  And finally a call to pray.

Which I immediately did.  And passed on the request, with permission, to our prayer chain.

At moment’s like this, your words are somewhat halting.  You really don’t know what to say – other than – I’m praying.  God knows the situations in people’s lives.  We get a glimpse.  And sometimes the sight is like a deep hole, with you standing on the edge of the cliff, on tiptoes with your friend, just knowing that being together, with God beside you, is what keeps you from falling in!

And so, for those around you today, who you know are suffering, offer your prayers!  May God grant his peace!

Things to come

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Things can refer to an eternity of things.

Literally.

Our associate pastor was right there this weekend when a young mother was informed that her husband had drowned.  That was not an expected thing to come. 

A day’s time, even a moment’s time, can change what we expect as things to come.

Should we then live in fear?

As one who enjoys knowing what is to come, I have spent much of my life trying to learn that I am not in control.  My fear of being left behind, or of being forced into an uncomfortable setting, or even of going to a dentist who may pronounce my teeth need work . . . all of these things to come can be disturbing, or worse yet, could be paralyzing.

I realize that means that I have to leave things in God’s control.  But the emotions of a moment can turn that thought upside down.  And I must return once again to a phrase that is worming its way into my head.

God is good all the time – and all the time God is good.  When you realize how much God loves you, then fear can be cast out.

Good lesson, tough to practice.

On Leave

Monday, May 27th, 2013

This past week the Church Board met.  In the midst of a number of discussions, they gave to me a very gracious gift.

As I have been planning my wedding on July 13th, I have been carefully guarding my days.  I’ve worked on days off in order to take a few other days to visit and work on wedding preparations.  I’ve left some gaps in my usual routines in order to give time to the need for a whole new set of routines.

All of this was beginning to pile up as the wedding neared.  The Board graciously presented to me a leave from June 23rd to July 29th.  OK, they thought I should take a leave!  And I gladly agreed!!

In this case, a leave does not necessarily mean less work.  Just redirected work.  I will be attending a number of “new family” events as well as events for both Cynthia and I.  I will be helping to amalgamate our household goods prior to our wedding.  And as I write this, I’m sure there are events that I don’t even know about! 

When I read some of the upcoming events to the congregation yesterday, one of my friends started to write them down, and then found out he couldn’t keep up!  Even as I look at the list, I’m glad I’ve been granted a leave.  I have this feeling our marriage will be the better for it!!

And so, as I have expressed to each of them personally, my thanks to a very gracious group who are my immediate “bosses”. 

Your wisdom and consideration is much appreciated. 

Out of the ground

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

This is the time of year that life arises from hibernation.

As I look out the window this morning I see the leaves of trees come to fullness. 

The front yard tree had withered leaves a few weeks ago.  You might even have thought this was fall and that the leaves were about to drop.  Instead, they have filled in and the tree is now shading the kitchen window.

In the back, the next door neighbour tree is leaning over the fence.  The leaves are exploding in a network pattern of green.  The willow tree continues to leaf out as though it were shading a meandering stream.

Of most interest to me is a shrub in the front yard.  These sprigs were transplanted in the fall.  They created reddish leaves, a favourite of my past wife, Jill.  Until yesterday I was wondering if anything would arise.  In fact I was ready to uproot the bush.

Then, I noticed a shoot or two pushing from branches.  The soil is watered, and the leaves are just beginning their journey.  I trust by the end of the summer there will be full foliage.

Such is the beauty of the spring!

Dump Days

Friday, May 24th, 2013

“Well, I woke up this morning, you were on my mind.”

So goes a song from a few decades ago.   The “you” in this case was extra stuff around the house.  As I plan on the amalgamation of two houses, I’m amazed at how much stuff I have sitting here! 

And the town has said they will take it for free today! 

What a blessing, but also what a chore.  I have been gathering a few things the last few days.  And this morning I headed to the basement to find a few more. 

No shortage of a “few more”. 

As I write this, more items are twirling through my mind.

So, before I forget, off to the trenches – or is that nooks and crannies – or is that . . .

A year of days

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

52 days to go.

My remarriage to Cynthia Bellamy will happen on July 13th at 2:00 in the afternoon at the Kindersley Alliance Church.

That is a factual statement that some days seems surreal.

And other days certain things pop up and you realize this will happen.  I sat with my church board last night and discussed the next few weeks.  I awoke this morning to a realization that 52 days are to come and then marriage. 

Yes, planning has been in the place!  A number of things are in place including amalgamating households, figuring out schooling, honeymoon plans and even minor things like scheduling daily phone calls.

But, as the old saying goes, “sometimes it takes time for the heart to catch up with the head.”

So, today, a year of days is in front of me.  I am excited – and a bit scared – and praying to God to continue to guide!

Combination of tastes

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

My freezer held blueberries, cranberries, and rhubarb.

I’m not sure there has been a recipe with all of these combined together in a sauce format.

Actually, I started making rhubarb sauce and cranberry sauce in separate pots.   The blueberries were an addition to the cranberries that I thought might look good, and hopefully taste good.

As I was preparing both, I looked at the basic ingredients.    Cranberry and Rhubarb are both mouth puckering.  The list looked much the same.

In my mind I formed a plan to combine the two.  That simply meant throwing them both together in a large pot.  Let them simmer and see how they work.

When the taste test took place, I was quite surprised.  The taste was very pleasing to my palate.  I’ll try it on a few others and see what they think.  Of course, there was the minor thing of the cranberry skin being a bit chewy, but otherwise not bad at all.

Will I try this again?  Perhaps.  I’ve frozen some of the sauce.  In a few weeks I’ll try the concoction again.  If I am as enthusiastic, I may turn this into a regular dish!

Another thousand miles

Monday, May 20th, 2013

My stationery bike today turned over 2,200 miles this morning.  The last reading which I journaled was when the bike turned 1,200 miles – on August 1st, 2012.  That is 292 days ago. 

In other words, I have biked around 3 miles a day for almost 300 days. 

Going nowhere!

Except that my leg muscles stayed in shape.  My upper body exercise while on the bike made sure my back is still in good shape.  And my respiratory ability is good.

The disciplines of life are well worth the moments that they take.  I have found that stability in life can be partially maintained by good exercise.  For around 20 minutes a day, my body wakes up.  My mind as well.  When I am done those 2o minutes there is a new sense of perspective and a spring in my step. 

Check back in another nine or ten months.  Let’s see if another 1,000 miles has been covered!!

From winter into spring

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

winter plants bloom with flowers - May 19, 2013 Sometimes I wonder how life works. 

In the fall of this year I had two plants I was watering.  Both had blossoms on them previously.  Now they were just sticks or foliage.  Someone told me they had to winter the year and in the spring they would blossom.

One is a begonia, the other – the other an African violet – I think??

Over the winter I continued to water them.  The begonia was particularly interesting.  The stick that was there grew a bit, even started to twist and turn in new ways.

I went away for a few days last week.  When I came back flowers were blooming – almost in full force.  Yesterday, a day after the first anniversary of my wife’s death, they were out and about.  The colour was beautiful.  Just months before there were no flowers and I almost thought they were about to die.

I kind of think my life over this past year has been much the same.  While others may have looked on, they may not have seen blossom on the way – they may even  have seen  barrenness and my branches taking new paths.  But now, somehow there is a spring occurring in my life.  I am sensing blossoms appearing.

I wonder how life will look a few months from now??