Category Archives: Personal

When least expected

Recently I was sitting with my father.  We were chatting about life.  In general and specific.

As I listened to some difficult experiences, I suddenly became rather emotional.  Now, I’m not one to let on. And perhaps my father didn’t notice.

But I noticed.  It was unexpected. . . definitely uncalled from my emotional memory banks.  I’m still processing this and other emotions that have surfaced to the light in the last while.  This is unlike the emotions that came in surgery recovery.  Those were uncontrolled – other than as the side effect of drugs.

Now, these emotions are related to events, and people, and things that rightly deserve notice.  But now the notice is deeper than previously.  In the past excess emotion has scared me.  This is not of that sort – I sense a peace with these feelings.  And as I say, I’m still processing this – and I sense leaning into another day will not hurt.

So, for this day – may you also sense peace and protection.  May God’s presence somehow overtake you when you least expect.  And may you continue on to understand the fear of God that leads to great wisdom and understanding.

Oh, for the old Fargo

Funny the things you remember from your childhood.

We had a picture of an old truck of my father’s, taken around 1959. A rabbit stands in the backyard of a Saskatoon house. The Fargo truck reflects light off the snow.

At least that’s how I remember it.

Then, maybe a decade ago – almost – my parents were having their 50th Anniversary. As a family we were on an island, at a retreat centre, celebrating. We drove the island roads, which were not many. On one sideroad, there was another Fargo truck. Mom and dad posed by the front grill, leaning on the truck bumper. That picture sits framed in our front hallway.

So, to my surprise, as our local pastor’s network retreated in Herschel, there was another Fargo truck. If you’ve never seen one, look below. There is something about the cab of the truck that still intrigues me years later. Maybe this is a style that could return without too much problem!!

fargo truck

A Ladies’ man!

That’s what I guess I would be called.

Tonight I was the sound “man” at a ladies’ dessert night.  Not another man in sight.  Not one. 

I was asked if I felt outnumbered. 

I noticed when I laughed I was the only one with a deep voice.  And when I looked at the dessert’s they were all small pieces — compared to what I would usually take.

The evening was encouraging.  Some of our young ladies are off on a missions trip and they sponsored the evening.  Good stuff!!

Here we are

This is Elkhorn Lodge – sorry, no picture!  Just imagine a scenic lodge overlooking brush with horses frolicking in the pastures.

We arrived Monday and will return to Kindersley Thursday.  Until then, we hope to get some rest and refreshment.  I’ve been a bit sick, but no better place than here!!!

Fly away, fly away, come back home!

So, we found out a West Jet flight to Winnipeg is on sale for “cheap” this weekend!

My wife and I are planning a trip to the windy city in March.  The travel time in a car is around 12 hours.  The cost is around $250 of gas.

So $83.00 sounded pretty good.  Of course that is for one person.  Then start adding the taxes.  $35.00 to fly out and around $45.00 to fly back. 

So (83+35+83+45) X 2 = 492.00 (or roughly thereabouts!).  Then we would need to rent a car.  Let’s throw in roughly $100.00 for the weekend.  So almost $600.00. 

Add to that they we were going with another couple who would also have to spend around $500.00 to fly out with us.  Plus a two hour ride back and forth to the airport ($40.00).  So, let’s say $1,150 or so to go to WPG and back. 

Let’s look at this in another light.  If we drive out all the way, we get to talk and talk and drive and drive and enjoy each other’s company (we are all friends).  There are intangible benefits here!

Take the $250.00 away from the $1,150.00 and we have nearly $900.00 to play with!  In shopping terms that means we have saved ourselves enough money to buy something else!

Imagine what the $900 will buy both of us couples.  Groceries for six weeks, heating and power bills for a month, or maybe a few nights out on the town!

I feel better already.  And to think all of this extra money might never have been ours!

Frost beats wire

Remember the good old “Rock, scissors, paper game”?

Here’s a new one – “Frost beats wire”!

I hadn’t thought much about our warm weather and humidity.  Enjoying hoarfrost each day as it sparkles in the morning light is a delight!

But the power lines are a little less than welcoming.  As I look out the window, the branches on our trees are getting covered.  Jill tried to flick a frosted branch in my face, but the white stuff sticks to the bark better than superglue to . . . (fill in the blank!).

Meanwhile the power lines are weighed down, the lines snap or become useless, and our power is in and out constantly.  On Sunday at least eight times.  On Monday at least four times.

There is a good side to this!  Now we know which of our clocks have functioning back up batteries.

King George VI – For the New Year

Georgevielizabeth1939“Did I remember the Christmas speech by King George VI in 1939?.” 

As I entered our sanctuary today, Gene Elliott asked if I was old enough to remember the Christmas speech by King George VI in 1939, looking into the darkness of a new year filled with war.  I had to reply that I was not.  She sat down and wrote out the quote.  Here it is:

“The Gate of the Year”

“I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year
‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’

And he replied, ‘Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!’

So I went forth and finding the Hand of God
Trod gladly into the night
He led me towards the hills
And the breaking of day in the lone east.

So heart be still!
What need our human life to know
If God hath comprehension?

In all the dizzy strife of things
Both high and low,
God hideth his intention.”

 … Minnie Louise Haskins (1875-1957), “The Desert” (c. 1908)

I found a blog site by Nancy J. Nordenson that summarized the history of the quote very well.  If you do a Google search you will find much more!

  • Haskins was an American lecturer at the London School of Economics. She wrote as a hobby. The quote is an excerpt from a poem she wrote called “The Gate of the Year” which was published in a volume called The Desert. The poem, which was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth, the late Queen Mother, gained international attention when King George VI quoted the above excerpt in his famous Christmas message broadcast in 1939 at the beginning of the Second World War.
  • It is engraved on bronze plaques on the entrance to the King George VI Memorial Chapel, Windsor, where they are both interred, and was read at the funeral service of the Queen Mother, held at Westminster Abbey on April 9, 2002.


There was a time I did the resolution thing —  a list of “to do’s” for the coming year!

And I guess I still do — but mostly at a point when I realize I need to change a particular action.  The big push for New Year’s to be the day of resolutions has waned.

But that does not mean I do not take inventory at this time of year.  I’m in agreement with an email my wife received from Christian Women Today

“Rather than centering your focus so much on what you are doing . . . ask God to help you get fresh insight on what you are becoming. . .  Make your own “to be” list this week.  Mine looks like this:  Be thankful . . for little things; Be joyful . . by choice;  Be patient . . deliberately; Be kind . . on purpose. . . As the being takes place, the doing will automatically happen.” 

The week is done!

OK, its only Friday but I feel like this has been a long week.  A good week, but a long week!

Originally I was to take off a few days while family were around.  In the midst of this came the call to lead a funeral.  In this case, and particularly for the sake of friends who called, I felt privileged to be asked to participate. 

The extra time was not begrudged by our family!  I was up and running in the morning when most of them were still in bed!!  The family celebrations were great.  15 people sharing together food and fellowship on Wednesday.  Then on Thursday they were all gone — back to their homes.  By Thursday evening Jill and I confronted an empty house — and said it was time to get some rest.

Today the fog rolled in — seems so unusual in a time when -20 Celcius and cold winds are the norm!  We left a little early for the funeral in Eston – a 45 minute ride away. 

As we returned we plotted our supper meal – leftovers of turkey, salads, potato and gravy, cauliflower and pie.  All heated on the stove and in the microwave in about 10 minutes time.  Talk about fast food!!  We relaxed for the evening and I will take a day off tomorrow!

Until then . . .