Archive for October, 2013

A short, smiling, sweet lady

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

That is the description that I’ve heard more than once about Muriel Plum.  Muriel passed into the presence of her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, on October 20, 2013.  The funeral service is today, Saturday, October 26 at 2:00 pm at the Kindersley Alliance Church.

Muriel was a charter member of the Kindersley Alliance Church.  In 1938 she joined a group of others, seeking to worship God and see Him work.  She believed in Jesus, not only for herself but for the whole world.  Faithfully for 75 years she provided a steady influence and a godly presence to those in the church.  When she became sick enough these past few months that she could not attend, she bemoaned the fact that she had not been to church for five weeks!

In proper fashion, with a dress and appropriate shoes, she would gracefully walk  into our church services.  She had encouraging words that were spoken to congregational members – even the pastors were know to have been complimented on their sermons!  We will miss her.

Muriel was a planner, and so her funeral had songs all picked and people considered for various tasks.  She wanted simple and meaningful.  Nothing too long or flowery.  Even as she prepared words for her eulogy (she was a planner!)she was heard to say there was just too much of her in it!

So today, I will help to lead a funeral service.  Truly a time to remember a faithful Christian lady! 

This will be our privilege as a church to celebrate a life well lived for Jesus.

Waiting – Furniture rearrangement

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Amalgamating household furniture has meant finding things you like together, ridding yourself of duplicates and deciding what is worth storing, sending away or thinking about.

The process has taken place over a few months.  The talking has been longer.

One of our operative words has been, “wait.” 

The garage has hosted a number of items.  Some were quick to be re-purposed.  Others have been returned to use.  Others are still awaiting a final decision.

This week saw a diagram of the living/dining room appear.  The major pieces of furniture were carefully graphed.  And rearrangement begun.  On paper.

Moving on paper has proved to be a good idea.  For the back! 

Of course, the test of a good design is only seen when it is seen.  We have had more than one arrangement “rearranged” once the furniture is in place.  At the moment, a theme is emerging.

Is this the last move?  I doubt it. 

I have enjoyed the shared experience that we will talk about, laugh about and sometimes wonder about, in coming years.  I’m also enjoying how things are looking. 

Who knows what tomorrow will look like?  I entertain that thought with anticipation! 

A card tucked away

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Ever since we got married in July, we keep finding cards around our house.  We suspect it was one of my sisters. 

Regardless of the suspects, their crime has been one of encouragement.  Here is the card we found yesterday!

Ron & Cynthia

  • May you lift your eyes to the hills –
  • May your help come from the Lord , the Maker of heaven & earth.
  • May He not let  your foot slip
  • May He watch over you – and be your shade
  • May the Lord keep you from all harm and watch over your lives;
  • May He watch over your coming & going both now & forevermore.

Ps. 121

What if . . . Even if

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Ever heard one of those phrases that just sticks. 

In the midst of our Sunday service, Nyla Ditson was speaking.  She is one of our young adults, currently studying in Saskatoon, whom I have watched grow up over the last eight years.

Nyla was talking about her own life – the ups and downs, the struggles and the joys, the life that squeezes and the life that frees.

In the midst of  this talk, she threw in a phrase that can change how we think about God. 

Often we approach life with a “what if” attitude.  We almost expect that everything is going to blow up.  Life will deteriorate “if” this happens. 

How about having an “even if” attitude?  When the worst thing that can happen is imagined – we still trust God can work in that situation.  This is a whole different picture.

I’m trying to put this phrase into action.  This past weekend our one remaining church charter member, Muriel Plum, passed away.  A great and gracious, godly lady.  “What if” would imagine that there can be no one like her again, the church will deteriorate and we will gradually cease to exist.  “Even if” imagines that her example, though now gone, can generate a whole new generation of godly followers of Jesus, and the church will grow in stature with both God and community.

Two contrasting phrases, both spoken in the same situation, can be worlds apart!

The sandwich

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Months ago I had been asked to perform a wedding on Thanksgiving weekend.  In a small town called Winnipeg.  About 10 hours away.

With my marriage this summer, we discussed this as one of the activities that our first few months would include.  As we worked through logistics, the idea was to travel in stages on the way there, and then hike home quickly on Thanksgiving Monday.  This was the skeleton of the plan.

As it happened, the marriage fell in between a number of other activities that arose over these past few weeks.

The split drive had us stay overnight in Regina.  There we visited with relatives from Cynthia’s side.  The time together also included an early morning paper route before leaving for Winnipeg.

The drive back began early yesterday morning.  Last week we had a request to stop in at my sister’s for a Thanksgiving meal.  Although an hour extra driving, we wanted to honor this request.  At noon we stopped in Regina once again, and visited with Cynthia’s relatives.  We were soon on the way to a turkey dinner scheduled for 3:00, at my sister’s.  After a time of visiting there we headed back to Kindersley. 

2,100 kilometers covered and lots of visiting sandwiched in!!  A true thanksgiving weekend.

Fire and smoke

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

I find it interesting.

On Monday night, 0ur town dump flared up.  Flames could be seen shooting 20 feet (7 meters?) into the sky.  We were oblivious to the catastrophe until the morning.  We opened our window (yes, it is getting cold here) and soon wondered if we had an electrical fire had erupted in the house.

As the day progressed, various bulletins let us know that the fire was contained, we were in a local state of emergency, and that the waste management center was closed.

A thick blanket of smoke were seen earlier in the day.  With the direction the wind was blowing, parts of the town did not even know that the dump was on fire.  Rumours soon clouded the town – almost as thick as the smoke itself!

As the day ended plans were still being put into place.  Provincial assistance had arrived.  The fire was contained.  Now what?

One of the greatest fears is toxic smoke.  Not flames and spreading fire.  But smoke.  Filled with particles of poison.  Able to float into the least likely places.

  Which is more deadly – the fire or the smoke?

I used to say – where this is smoke there is fire.  I think I will revise that – where there is a fire there is smoke. 

Garage sweep

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Yesterday was a partial work day and a partial home day.

The work part encompassed two meetings.  One with staff, another with a ministry area of the church. 

At home, we moved towards one of the areas that has been on my mind – the fulness of our garage.  We had previously stacked a number of items there as we amalgamated our households.  And “garage creep” also meant that the area became the default for anything that we were unsure of keeping or using.

Yesterday we both spent time in the garage.  Other duties were left behind.

Salvation Army items were disbursed, old electronics taken to a recycle area and other garbage taken to the waste site.  Fortunately, we had also heard of someone who was moving to town who needed furnishings.  Extras were donated to them.

At the end of the day we opened the door to the garage.  We both could see the far wall, and open floor space. 

Perhaps life just needs time to get to the things that need done.  Not that we forget about the piles that exist, just that we await the right timing. 

The part I’m working on is finding God’s timing and not my own timing.  I suppose that’s where planning, strategizing and plotting meet peace, joy, and love.  We need to develop a spirit of the future that is not overwhelmed by worry and fear but rather by excitement and anticipation.

Not saying I’m there yet – but I’m headed that direction.

Sermons

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Over this past few weeks I have shared preaching with two other young men.  The series has been on Galatians.  The material has not been unusual.  The process has been.

A solo pastor, or pastor of preaching, can set up and run their own system.  In some ways this is much easier.  Week by week you adjust and set aside and add as needed.

In this case, we have all accepted assignments.  Specific passages have been doled out.

We also decided to work with the other’s work in mind.   In order to create a flow in the preaching, this has required additional work.   I have listened to the sermons of each week, and thought on them with greater intensity week by week.

This has not been a bad thing.  In fact, I would dare to say that this has increased my understanding of Galatians.  This has also increased my appreciation for the work that the others have put into this series.

And now, after thanksgiving we will begin a new preaching series.  I have this funny feeling I will again be challenged!

Indeed – this has been a good thing!