Archive for June, 2015

The biggest part is moved

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Last night for four hours we moved stuff.  Appliances, clothing, furniture, books, and all things pertaining to a household. 

There was a base crew of eight people.  Thanks to each of them.

When we were done we had Tim Horton’s donuts – a friend had supplied some pop to drink.  Our sugar rush kept us going!

The house now echoes empty!  When you walk, your footsteps follow you.  And you can see the other side of the room without distraction.

This is the completion of one chapter of our lives.  God had carefully and directly indicated to us that we needed to sell our house to our new senior pastor.  With no new house in sight, and no other intention than to provide affordable housing to them.

Our journey to date has been full of God moments.  Trades people who have made themselves available, friends who have spent hours assisting us, and even little times where we both have felt the strength of God in doing the “next thing.”

God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.

Monday is here

Monday, June 29th, 2015

A new week of work.

This week looks full.  We are moving our larger pieces of household goods tonight.  Then tomorrow we will take any smaller pieces over to our new house.

In the meantime, we will clean the new house and get things ready for the move in (I guess that will happen today).  Once we are moved in, we will have a few days to live in a friend’s house while we continue renovations on our new house.

By the time the week is done, we will have worked.

And Sunday will come.

I’m beginning to understand anew why a new week begins on Sunday and not Monday. 

Without Sunday, there is no preparation for Monday and the rest of the week.

Sunday is here

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

A day of rest!

Need I say more?

The temptation is always to fill times of rest with times of work.  So, we will see how the day goes – and be intentional in finding rest and refreshment in this day!

Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh and Josiah

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

All not so familiar names, but with a familiar story.

In the last years of the reign of the Jewish kings in Judah, these were some of the prominent names.  They were subject to the prevailing society around them, while trying to maintain a purity of their of culture and religious background.

The cycle was almost predictable – from father to son – bad, good, bad, good.

I’m still trying to figure out how to live in a society that disregards or ignores their own spiritual plight.  As I read of these kings, I’m reminded that the best leadership does not guarantee a good succession. 

A trend one way may mean a complete reversal in short order.

On the surface, the whole thing leads to despair.

Underneath, I am reminded that God is in control.  Nothing happens without God’s knowledge.  I don’t need to know all the ingredients of life, I’m just called to be faithful to God with the life I live.  And in that life, I am called to call others to God.

Changing modes – from building to cleaning

Friday, June 26th, 2015

We move next week – Monday to be precise.

Up until this point everything has been towards renovation.  Getting things ready to put tables and chairs into a room that is newly reset.

Now I’m in the mode of cleaning up things so that we can move.

Are we finished our renovations?  Not by a long shot, or a short one as well.

But we are ready to be in the house and working out of the house as our place of both refuge and our place of advancement.  I’m looking forward to these next few weeks as we complete work and go back to “work.”

Cementing

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

A quick comment for an extended work period! 

In order to get the basement bathroom coordinated and to have a larger utility room in our new home, we had to move some plumbing.  In the basement floor.

Which meant jackhammering out concrete, placing new pipes and finally replacing the concrete.

That was yesterday’s job.  Backfilling around the pipes was the afternoon.  The evening was smoothing out the area for cementing and the actual cementing.

I have not done a lot of cementing, but I was amazed how much I remembered from my father’s projects.  Our evening ended at 2:00 in the morning.

In the end, the cement is in place and will be cured in the next few days.

Hallelujah!

Plumbing inspection

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Today the new sewer lines get inspected.

Our plumber knows that they have to be done just right.  Both he and I know the inspector – a real stickler but fair. 

So, early this morning – around 6:30 – our plumber was by the house to make sure things are in place.  There are a few more lines to attach, and then he needs to be at the house when the inspection takes place.

The basement is a marvel.  Three weeks ago there were all sorts of plumbing lines run helter skelter.  A bathroom that was just across the hall from the shower.  An upstairs bathroom that seemed to have the fixtures in the wrong place. 

The renovation has required a jackhammer (which I rather enjoyed), new ABS piping, and a whole lot of planning and revision as we have gone along.  The Town even found out that we had a water line coming into our house that was unmetered.  That was fixed!!

Our day will be exciting – we hope of have permission to recement the basement floor by tonight and the next phase comes next!!

In my daily reading

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Today the reading was on transitions.  The devotional writer spoke of the transition a professional athlete has to make when he “retires.”

The emphasis was on not doing it all your way, but seeking for help.  The help described was God – the first and primary point of call.

I have found in my life also, that God is first.  But after that, you’d better be open for your fellow lifeboat members to give you a hand.

They will bail for you, tell you when storms are approaching, even relieve you of a night watch so you can get some respite.

Chose your companions well.  Life will be so much better!

Sheds and kids

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

In younger days, the backyard shed was for lawn equipment – or if you were lucky and it was empty you could turn it into a fort or other valuable structure.

This weekend we had some of the kids drive in from Calgary.  They enjoyed a visit and we enjoyed their presence.

As well, we hauled them off to build a backyard shed.

Now, these sheds have emblazoned on the box that they are “easy to assemble.”  If you are a puzzler, that may be true.  If patience is not a virtue, not so true.

Thankfully the combination of those working on the project was just right.  The planner and director, the grunt workers, the analytical types and the just plain “I showed up, what can I do” types.

The shed was up in a few hours.

Thanks to all those who helped.

The sagas of life

Friday, June 19th, 2015

What consumes us?

I want to call those the sagas of our lives.  At various points those things may include schooling, marriage, children, retirement, addictions, death and dying.  Those are some of the biggies!

Most of these call us back to God.  We find that our own abilities are less than what is required and we seek for a greater power.  As a Christian, I realize that access to God is through a very real person who experienced what I will experience – Jesus.

But today, I am consumed by a lesser saga.  That of our renovations.  I awoke this morning with new and creative ideas flowing through my head.  I have tried to also make my morning awakening time part of a spiritual journey to seek God’s help. 

The distraction of renovations makes that very hard.  I wonder how many other distractions of lesser value but greater immediacy occupy us.  A musical endevour, gardening, puzzles and gaming.  The list could go on.

Recognizing the danger of loss of immediacy in our connection with God is the first step in keeping life’s balance.  The next is to do something about it.  This morning I headed my renovation train of thought into the station for a few moments while I chatted with God. 

Perhaps I need to map our more train station stops in my life.

Not a bad idea!