Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Queen...

So, here we are in the Queen City...Regina. Upon entering daughters home, there was enough room to get up the stairs and a one-way path to the kitchen plus one end of the couch to sit on. All other places in the house are piled with boxes, boxes and more boxes.

Tomorrow we'll rent the truck and get on with the moving of "the stuff" to the next place on the long list of "places we have lived in".

So hey, all you P.A. folks, enjoy your fine weather up in the north country. It's colder down here and the wind is howling like a maniacal banshee.

May God save the Queen...and her city....Regina......or it may end up in Manitoba very soon.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Doing the job over...

When a person goes at a job diligently and deliberately and with great effort, you expect that the results of that effort will pay day.

Son is tree planting again this year in Manitoba...for the month of May. He and the crew he was on worked really hard the previous year, getting those little seedlings into the ground - through heat and rain and mosquitoes and wind they tree planted through the brush and swamp. Difficult work but the pay was pretty good...if you plant fast and well.

Well, last year following their time of tree planting, a forest fire went through the whole area and burned up every seedling they had put into the ground.

Needless to say, he's back in the same area doing the same thing and this time hoping and praying that fire will hold off in that area this year. The end result should look something like the picture above. Good, hardy, tall coniferous trees that help the environment just by their presence.

Doing a job over is no fun but at least the opportunity is given for that to happen in tree planting.

Life unfortunately, is not that forgiving. We don't get second chances to live life over. Oh, we can change the way we live it while we're here, kind of like pruning out the underbrush of a forest, but when the tree itself is burned, the only way it will live again is if its seeds get sprouting.

I have one life to live and I trust that the seeds that sprout after I'm gone will grow strong and be productive and beautiful. May God make it so.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Questions and wonderings.....

There are moments in life when I just sit back and wonder about many things....
How is it that life is going by so very quickly and seems to be actually picking up speed? (As my friend, Val, has expressed it, "Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end the faster it unrolls!")
Do I have some things yet to do here on earth that need doing...things that would make a difference for another person, or a group of people, or dare I say, the world?
Have I really grasped what living this God-given life is all about? Have I really grasped how important a gift that life really is?
Have I allowed another person to change for the better and not forced them into that change?
Will I ever be able to say that I loved people enough?
All of these questions........some of which I can do something about.
One thing I have come to realize though. Life is not about things. Life is about other people and my relationship with them.
More importantly, life is really about coming to a knowledge that there is more to life than what I experience here and now. Of course, it is important that I live life well, while I am here. It is important that when I fail at life, that I admit that failure, ask for forgiveness and go on. But there is another chapter coming up that will fulfill the hope I have, the hope that God gives me. That is the hope of heaven.....whatever that will look like.
Anyway, those are the things I've been thinking about today. Not sure what made me think about all of these things, but there are times when I become quite melancholy and philosophical and those kinds of thoughts just spill out.
So, enjoy It is good that we do.

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's spring...tweet, tweet...honk, honk...

Last year we followed a group of Canada geese around a bit when we vacationed at Waskesiu. We watched them in their element with their feeding habits, their parental skills and their serious protectionist traits. Those two geese were in it for life. Mating. Nesting. Hatching. Caring. Just being examples to their little goslings until the youngins' fluffy yellow turned to brown, then grey then black and they were ready to fly the proverbial coop to begin life on their own.
Sunday, I managed to catch these little Juncos hard at work finding their noon meal, scratching away in the grass and then diving head-long into the bird seeds that we have put into the bird bath!

They are amazing creatures to watch. They scratch away, sometimes so vigorously, that their little heads are right down under the grass, appearing headless. Up they pop with something edible in their beaks.

The top Junco picture looks as if it could be a girl and a guy Junco out on a lunch date. I do think they will make Junco nesting plans soon. They did look quite interested in one another.

Oh, if love was only that simple!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

For those who grieve...

A hymn with words by Peter Jonsson Aschan, 1726-1813

"O let your soul now be filled with gladness

Your heart redeemed, rejoice indeed!

O may the thought banish all your sadness

that in his blood you have been freed,

that God's unfailing love is yours,

that you the only Son were given,

that by his death he has opened heaven,

that you are ransomed as you are.

If you seem empty of any feeling,

rejoice - you are his ransomed bride!

If those you cherish seem not to love you,

and dark assails from every side,

still yours the promise, come what may,

in loss and triumph, in laughter, crying,

in want and riches, in living, dying,

that you are purchased as you are.

It is a good every good transcending

that Christ has died for you and me!

It is a gladness that has no ending

therein God's wondrous love to see!

Praise be to you, O spotless Lamb,
who through the desert my soul are leading

to that fair city of joy exceeding,

for which you bought me as I am."

It says this in our Covenant Hymnal, a Worshipbook, about singing in the Covenant Churches in days gone by. These words were penned by C.M. Youngquist, 1851-1901:
"Singing was prominent in the services of the early Covenanters. The whole congregation would join in the unaffected and beautiful songs which were willingly led by brothers and sisters who had the gift. At the conclusion of the sermon it seemed as if the singing would not end. A verse, or perhaps only a refrain, would be repeated again and again until the words were impressed upon our minds and 'joy stood high on the ceiling!' "

Singing is and has been and probably will always be a vital part of the Sunday worship time at Gateway and most churches, I suspect. It's a time when we attempt to offer up praise to God in it has always been done. The songs and hymns change over time as does the music but our desire to glorify God does not change. He is always worthy of our attempts at praising him and in that knowledge, of recognizing his greatness, we sing. We sing songs that would help us praise Him.

Tonight, as I reflect upon the day, the weekend and the weeks past, I cannot help but sing the above hymn with a joyful and thankful heart. Yes, knowing Christ has redeemed my heart gives me great reason to rejoice.....indeed!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

One of these things....

is not like the other....
It's the top picture..........a bloom from a banana tree.
Well, I've never seen one!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tip of the iceberg....

to the creativeness of God. Click on the pictures and sit back in wonder. As I've said before, all this beauty, and it's free!

Note the shades, the shapes, the stamen and pistols....and each quite miraculous and unique in their own way.
Hope you enjoy them as much as I appreciated capturing them on my trusty Olympus.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Inhabitants of a city....

Just a small sample of some Winnipegonians that were within camera range.
Very cool hats on most of them.
An interesting city...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Winnipeg...up close and personal.

Matt and Shannon at "The Pavilion""Matthew of the Jungle" (as opposed to George)

The Legislative Building - Winnipeg.

The rising of "The Red River"


The eating of the "cheesecakes" in the Hilton.

It was a good, quick trip to see son in Winnipeg. It was a bit of a family gathering and we did some things together. It's what families do.:-)

We visited "The Forks" for an afternoon. Drove through downtown Winnipeg where next trip I will have a walking tour instead of the scenic drive through. Taking pictures while driving can be a bit of a challenge.

We went to "The Pavilion" in Assiniboine Park where I gloried in the shrubs and flowers and where it rained inside!
We ate at various restaurants, swam in the Hilton pool, ate some more, worshipped with Matt at his home church, Faith Covenant and just hung out together.
This morning, Matt went his work, and we went our way....back home.
A short weekend. A long drive.
It was worth being with our son, even if it was for a short visit.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Five more to Manitoba...

Marc...following God's leading into the ministry.
Dixie...a soon-to-be pastor's wife


Madeline and Olivia
These five will be heading east to Manitoba this live!
Marc will go to Providence Seminary south of Winnipeg where he and Dixie will make a home and raise their 3 children for the next 3 years.
It's exciting to see how God has made his way into the lives of this family and they have been faithful in hearing God whisper, "I think you need to take this pastor thing seriously because I really need you out there in the trenches, Marc..both you and Dixie!"....or something to that effect. Not sure. Maybe God spoke louder than a whisper but they did hear and are being obedient to that call.
May God go before them, beside them, behind them and around them.
Gateway just keeps sending people to Winnipeg. Not sure what that's all about...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

When one hurts....

Yes, when one hurts, all hurt. I think that is how family is. When one member suffers, all the other members of that family feel that pain and suffer with them.

Christ likened the Body of Christ, as in the family of God, the church, to a physical body. When one part of the body is hurting, if you have a sore toe, then your whole body feels that pain.

When someone in the church, in the group of believers is suffering, everyone else feels that persons pain. When one grieves, all grieve. When one cries, all others cry with them.

It is love that allows us to sympathize and empathize. Love for the person suffering. Love that says, "I feel your pain too, and I am beside you to help you."

God, will you be the comforter of brokenness and hurt. Come to those who grieve and cry and are lost and hurting.....amen.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Easter reunion of Brittney, Jenn, Fiona and Char
A little band of Christ followers meeting
at 6 a.m. on riverbank Easter morning.

Yes, it was a lovely sunrise service.....and sunrise!

Lanoie's hosted everyone at their home
after the 6 a.m. service....just across the street.

Easter service was held at Gateway church too.

Today, part of our family took a drive to Waskesiu.
Easter has come and gone.
I think I can empathize with those disciples of Jesus....someone they loved had left them. It was a time for them to grieve.
Yes. There is a time to grieve.
But the resurrection of Christ gives us hope that there is also a time to dance and to celebrate.
I pray that wherever you find yourself this night, grieving....or celebrating....that you will find Jesus, the One that returned from death, the One that urges us onward and encourages us to live life to the full and to look ahead to what He has for us.
God, help us not to mourn your death too long a time, but to go on towards resurrection day and live there.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I have a friend....

and she made this fancy loaf of bread for me and my family this Easter. When she and her husband travelled to Paris (France), she bought a cookbook and now is trying out the recipes.
This looks so fancy I hate to cut into it. I really would like to just cover it with varnish and keep it as a table centre but bread was made to eat not to look at, so I had better not waste it.
We shall cut it and eat it with our Easter meal tomorrow and remember how vital good friends are......especially when they bring food.:-)
Thanks Loretta for your love and your gift.....and Roger for being the cute delivery guy!
Enjoy your Easter day tomorrow, everyone.
Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Beneath the cross of Jesus....

Beneath the cross of Jesus I long to take my stand:
the shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land,
a home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way,
from the burning of the noon-tide heat and the burden of the day.
Upon that cross of Jesus my eyes at times can see
the very dying form of one who suffered there for me;
and from my smitten heart, with tears, two wonders I confess -
the wonders of his glorious love and my unworthiness.
I take, O cross, your shadow for my abiding place,
I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of his face,
content to let the world go by, to know no gain nor loss,
my sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross.
-Elizabeth C. Clephane, 1830-1869
A hymn that pretty much sums up my life......