Sunday, December 31, 2006

Are we there yet?

It is a rainy December 31. The big storm that dropped a lot of snow further west has reached Chicago as wind & rain. As they say at least you don’t have to shovel it.

We made good progress on the studding for the basement walls and finished one entire wall along the back of the basement. I am more or less done what I will be able to do this visit.

Things went smoother with practice (and prayer) My son was off yesterday so we enjoyed some time working together. Even got my 8 year old grandson involved for a while. It was a little tense trying to work out the details of the floor plan with my daughter-in-law but we figured out something that seemed to match her vision of things with the practical realities of space and budget.

They are now ready to have some electrical and plumbing work done before finishing off those walls (This is Phase 1 of 4 or 5 phases before it is completely done. As I said to Chris yesterday if he depends on me to be here to do the framing and help with the plumbing & electrical it will likely take 10 years and I’ll be so old & decrepit I won’t be able to swing a hammer!!). But it is a good start and I feel good that we have accomplished something.

Our daughter Melissa and her husband Alexander are traveling here today from Kingston Ontario (over 1100 km – 700 miles) From what I can tell they will be driving into the storm. I hope they left fairly early—although it appears that if they are later getting across into Michigan and Illinois the worst of the weather may have blown by.

I would like to spend some time reflecting on 2006 and thinking forward to 2007 but I don’t have time for that this morning. But I need to wrap this up I need to get ready to go to services. Last week we went to the Community Christian Church with Chris and his family for their Christmas Eve Candle light service. This week we will attend at Naperville Church of Christ.

Anyhow, Chris just got called out on an SRT (swat team) call and I need to wrap this up. For now.

So the end of the year is coming - people are travelling - we are working on projects that we wanted to complete this year -- It is like the kids asking "Are we tthere yet?" -- Well no -- we will always have further to go in this journey until we leave this life or Jesus comes. Life is in the journey - not in the getting things done.

A couple of items from the blogs that I cam across

Bobby Valentine presents some scholarly research from Ephesians on the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians (December 27-28)

Bobby Cohoon “eulogizes” President Ford and James Brown (December 27)

Tonight as we say goodbye to 2006 and Hello to2007 may God’s richest blessing fill your lives

God Bless

Friday, December 29, 2006

Post-Christmas - Let down or looking up?

December 29 dawns gray & bleak in Aurora as I sit here with my morning coffee. It is a curious thing to be spending this much time away from home.

It is great to be able to see our “kids” and grandkids but they have their own lives and once the excitement of first seeing them is past and the Christmas presents are unwrapped and either put aside or in use there seems to be a let down.

I guess this is a milder form of the “post-whatever” syndrome – you know “post-traumtic”, “post-partum” -- etc. Of course people who experience these things are undergoing serious emotional trauma and what I’m experiencing is at worst mild depression or maybe the just the blahs. . (This isn’t a new theme -- I wrote some about this back in November – click HERE)

Mostly though I think it is just reality – life is what we make it (or perhaps better life is how we choose to let God shape it. One of the things that this time gives me is time to meditate and reflect on who I am and where I am going. Maybe that sounds a little “heavy” but what I mean is that my imperfections and limitations come to surface and stand in sharp contrast to what I might want God to make of me – I see the gaps between the perfect fruits of a spirit transformed life and crabby old me and I don’t like them – but it is what it is. I am whom I am – Roger was fond of the old saying “God loves me as I am but thankfully he loves me too much to let me stay as I am.” –

So what brings on this “whining” about being imperfect. Pretty arrogant to have the idea that I should be perfect isn’t it? Maybe it is the difference between what I would want in my relationships and communications and the realities of how I am interacting. that most frustrate me but it is my interaction with Linda as we worktogether on aproject that mostmakes me wantlike Charlie Brown to say "Arrghh!!!"

Because we were going to be here for an extended period, Linda & I decided that we would start finishing their basement. Tammye and Chris have been talking about this for over a year and last Christmas I did a preliminary floor plan showing how it could be laid out. So now was time to turn the plans into reality.

Now my father and grandfather were both pretty good carpenters but I have never developed that part of my genetic heritage that much. I certainly helped a lot with building projects as I was growing up and have done some small projects (mostly with experienced advise from either my Dad or my friends Len & Russ who are both good at building). But looking at the bare walssof that basement and having to figure out how to do it was intimidating. The INTERNET is a great thing and I was able to find a site that gave a number of hints and ideas on framing in basement rooms. It is a real challenge with all the piping, electrical and heating stuff cluttering up the ceiling.

Ultimately, you just have to dive in and start, which we have and so far I have about 20 feet of stud wall constructed including a corner and framing around a window. Linda has been helping and she is very helpful.

But the thing is that I hate making mistakes and when I’m doing something like this there are 2 things guaranteed –one I will make mistakes and two even the best work will have imperfections. – Things aren’t perfectly plumb or square and there are warps and twist in the studs which don’t look right. I have a bad habit of wanting to blame others for my mistakes and so it seems everyday I “yell” at Linda because she points out something that doesn’t look right. and we both end up feeling upset.

My question to myself is – why?? – when I know that this is likely to happenwhy I can’t “cut it off at the pass”? I know that the answer is to be sure we have thought it all the way through and understood what could go wrong – measure several times before cutting, check fit, square and plumb before nailing – etc. but it just doesn’t happen and so it I “shoot the messenger” when the mistakes become obvious or complain that she should have noticed that it wasn’t going to work that way. ANd so I look up toGod and ask that he might remove this thorn frommy character.

The other thing I get down about is my inability to have the conversations I would like to have with my son and grandchildren. I sit alone and think of sommany things I want to say but when they are there we talk about the mundaneand watch TV or play somegames. Again I look up -- perhaps as I understand (and I do) the love of my Father despite my poorlistening skills I can communicate my love to them in spite of these imperfections.

Anyone who has followed this blog knows that this is a persistent theme in my behavior. In July I wrote about how my cousin Wilma said that I was melancholy perfectionist. (and I as amateur psychologist looked at this and more or less had to agree with her (click HERE).

Well enough of this –

Today is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it.

My INTERNET connection is a little flaky as a “piggy back” a wireless connection from somewhere in the neighborhood so my ability to “blog browse” and spend time catching up on the discussion entries from my Berean friends is frustratingly slow.

I did a cursory review of some of my favorite blogs over the past couple of day trying to catch up on several weeks of missed postings.

There is a lot of stuff about Christmas and the post-Christmas – year-end ennui that so often besets us (so I guess I’m not alone in this although it seems it isn’t just the time of year that gets to me)
Bobby Valentine shares some thoughts on the meaning of Christmas (December 25th post) and the work of God’s Spirit in our lives (December 27th post)

I made a visit to my friend Dee Andrews – I hadn’t been by for almost a month and a lot has happened in her life. She is a fascinating story teller and I like “visiting” with her. You’ll get a flavor for some of what she has been writing about from the comment I posted to her site (December 27)

Dee- I loved your $10 gift story. -- except it hit too close to home!!!

Wow! -- I haven't been by for a long time (too long) -- no excuses --life has kept me away and I have missed my friends. I pray that your family situation is working itself out--so often we have to struggle to "let go & let God"-- even when we can't see any way that God can fix it because human choices cast aside his precious gifts and precious love.

I too struggle with the "privacy" issue in blogging. I started this adventure by keeping a private journal and then copying parts to the blog. I found it was difficult to put that extra editting in and so I have avoided writing anything that Iwouldn't want my dearest friend (my wife)or my worst enemy (Satan I guess) to see and repeat. I have actually found that there wasn't too much that I was willing to write down that I couldn't share but certainly there is a "closet in my heart" that I can't open for anyone --or at least that's what I think.

The news about yours eyes is wonderful --

Well a few more days and 2006 is history.
May God grant you the richest blessings in 2007

God Bless

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Family, Friends & Feasts (November 29 – December 27)

I started this posting in late November. Life intervened and I didn’t finish it and I haven’t posted for several weeks.

This idea started at the time of Thanksgiving (in the US). I was thinking about the differences and similarities of the Thanksgiving in the US and in Canada. Wikipedia (Click HERE) has a summary of the history of the 2 holidays. Over the past 10 years we have had occasion to celebrate both holidays because our son & his family live in Illinois. They have other “ex-patriate” Canadians as friends and they often celebrate both holidays.

I am writing this the day after Christmas. There is so much written and talked about regarding the true meaning of Christmas. Of all the holidays in modern North America, it is likely the most debated and exploited holiday of all. It is at Christmas that Christians are most caught between the exclusive nature of the one God who sent his only Son to redeem a lost world and the univeralism and pluralism of modern society. The Son who gave up a heavenly kingdom to become human – who came to offer peace has been misappropriated and misunderstood. Some have taken up the sword in his name (despite his aversion to the sword --) and some have taken up the sword to disprove his power and to show the supremacy of their gods and prophets. Many have subverted the message of the Messiah and the message of other prophets and teachers into a message of Mammon – man and money is supreme – might is right – the only God is ME.

How do we cast off the trappings of our culture and the influences of its master Satan
and get back to the joy & peace and promise of a god who became flesh - a lowly birth for a heavenly king -- ?

God grant us the humility to understand that it is only in surrender that these blessings come—it is not in our striving and in our giving of gifts and feasting on food fit for a king.

Holidays are so much today about family and feasting. It is useful to remember that the root of the word is “Holy Day” and true celebration needs to involve worship and honor to God who made us and gave us all things. However, for me, one of the best ways to celebrate our love for God is to live it in our families and as with many family gatherings involve feasting!!

This fall has been a series of family events. October 1 we were in Beamsville to celebrate my brother-in-law Art Ford’s retirement from Great Lakes Christian College. See my October 6 post on Pictures for more details on this event. We had (at least) 2 big “feasts” while there – one a dinner at the school and the other a family dinner at my sister’s.

Thanksgiving weekend was at big family gathering & reunion (approx 75 people) as an early celebration of my father’s 90th birthday. Of course this involved several meals including a lunch and supper organized by 2 of my sisters. A great time visiting with my brothers & sisters and their off-spring.

The rest of October I was at home. (and Linda was visiting Kevin & Sarah.)

November 8-13 I traveled to Aurora Ill. Linda & I looked after Hunter & Camdyn while Chris & Tammye were on a cruise for their 15th anniversary. Probably the only trip this fall that didn’t involve much more than regular meals although Linda & I enjoyed a wonderful takeout fish dinner from Wayne's restaurant in Oconto WI when we stopped overnight on the trip home.

November 24-26 we were on the road again this time to Meaford to help my cousin Wilma and her husband Clyde celebrate their 50th anniversary. Not only did we feast at the “official” celebration at the Meaford church but Wilma had a big dinner at her house for the out-of-town guests. (I have mentioned Clyde & Wilma several times before --see my June blogs). The picture shows themwith their Sons Reyburn (on left) and Roger (on right). Roger was the preacher at Pinehill until he moved to Troy Michigan in September. Sandra was not able to be there since she had travelled to Oklahoma for her grandmother's funeral).

Two weeks later we were on the road again. This time because of the death of Linda’sgrand-nephew. (see my last entry on December 6). On the trip to Guelph, we had Linda’s sister Carol in our car and we traveled along with four of her brothers in a separate vehicle. The funeral was difficult - attended by many of Stephen’s school friends. It turned out that, despite the initial reports that it is likely that it was suicide rather than accidental. Our prayers remain with Pam & Mike, & Terry & June as they have had to live with this tragedy through a time when others are celebrating with family.

After the funeral we went to McMaster Children’s hospital to see Kayla – she is the granddaughter of our friends the Roetman’s. It was a better (although still stressful) experience to see that she was recovering. She has infection in the bone and is now at home receiving treatment. We spent Saturday night& Sunday in Beamsville at my sister’s.

Even in the circumstances food is a part of life. We had one very bad experience. Friday night we went out to eat before the visitation. One of Linda’s brother made a joke just as she was sipping some tea and she choked on it and triggered an asthma attack. It was rather scary as she struggled for breath until we got her outside and into the cold air. Fortunately, she came around OK without needing medical treatment. Saturday after the funeral the family gathered for a lunch at my niece’s house. Her neighbor’s had supplied a lot of food and there does seem to be some healing in sharing memories and tears over food.

Sunday dinner at my sister Ruby’s place is always pleasant and refreshing to the soul. She had invited my niece Trish and we had a chance to visit with her as well.

This trip had other minor misfortunes. I left a Mount Rushmore t-shirt at the motel in Guelph and lost a library book during our visit to the hospital. On the positive side, my brother-in-law Morris had hip replacement surgery December 4 and is doing well. He was out to a family gathering at our house on the 16th.
Jack King who had been seriously ill with a C-difficile infection is recovering and was out to services on the 17th.

Just over 2 weeks after returning home we were on the road again – coming here to Chris’ for Christmas.

In between in late November and during this 2 weeks I was busy with giving and marking exams and submitting grades. We bother were busy with Christmas shopping and Linda was busy baking, decorating, cleaning and all those things.

In addition, we had 2 more familyevents.

Saturday (Dec. 16th) we had 21 of my family for our "family Christmas" sharing a meal (pizza) and giving gifts to my Dad- before he headed off to my sister Ruby's for Christmas. Picture shows 2 of my brother-in-laws- Jason & Morris

Sunday the 17th we were at Little Rapids (near Thessalon) for Christmas with the Armstrong's -- actually we thought was the Goodmurphy's (our annual gathering with Linda's family organized by Linda's mother, Martha). Martha had told us she was inviting her brother's and sisters(the Armstrong's) but what we didn't know until we got there was that the invitation included their offspring as well. There were well over 100 people for the potluck meal and an afternoon ofvisiting and singing Christmas carols.

We got to see and visit with many of Linda's cousisn's that we hadn'tseen for some time and, we got to play "who's kid are you" with the children and grand-children (and even the occasional great-grandchild) of those cousins.

So family, friends & feasts -- this is what makes life meaningful - even when the gathering is tragic there is strength in family. My prayer is that as we find strength in our earthly family ties we will seek even more the riches of having a heavenly family and for those who may not have been blessed with a family here --may yhey find God's family -- it is the best!!!

Our Christmas was wonderful.

We attended a Christmas eve”candle light” service. There is something very moving about singing Silent night with several hundred people in an auditorium lit by the flickering light of candles.

It was great watching the kids open their gifts and, of course we feasted.

We are staying through New Year’s because our Melissa & Alexander are coming New Year’s day.

Well, I need to get this posted. My this review of family events and ”feasts” will help explain why I haven’t posted anything for awhile. In any case “it is what it is”

A few things from my limited blog browsing in November & December.

There was a report (initially written by his wife Theressa "Tess") about “Preacherman” Kinney Mabry and his battle with Guillaime-Barr syndrome. At last report he was home recovering and blogging again. Praise God for this.

John Dobbs had his 43rd birthday November 30 (Click HERE)
Bobby Valentine is abandoning us Northerners and heading to Arizona—I think he will miss the snow (if we ever have any) (Click HERE to find out more)

I guess my New Year’s resolution will needto be to spend more time in reflection --- by which I mean “blogging” (both browsing others and posting my own). Time will tell and God is in control.

God Bless

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Double Jeopardy

This is special posting to report a tragic death. A lot of this posting is pasted in from emails that I have sent over the past 24 hours.

It seems it never rains it pours. Linda is the oldest of 10 children and has a large number of nieces & nephews and they in turn have kids so it is a large family.

Until September of this year all of this family (except for her Dad) was living. In September her niece's 6 month old daughter died of SIDS. (See my September 10 post called "A roller coaster week" (Click HERE) for details of that tragedy.)

They say lightening doesn't strike twice in the same place but we are feeling like it is close to that -- and close to home. -- like double jepoardy--

Tonight (Tuesday December 6) we got word that another nieces's 13 year old son Stephen had died. It was one of those stupid things that never should have happened but did --he was playing this "choking" game and it went too far.

(See if you are not familiar with thisdanger. We had one of these deaths at alocal high school last spring)

If you have children, grandchildren, friend's children who might be at risk -- be sure they are informed about how deadly this so-called game is)

I can't comprehend what moves a child to take such a foolish risk but it is what it is. Linda's brother Terry (Stephen's grandfather) and his wife June are devastated - Stephen lived in the Guelph area and this makes it more difficult to support Terry, June & Pam (Stephen's mother) during this period.

Linda is in near shock having this added to her ongoing concerns about Kayla -- Please keep Stephen's family in your prayers that they might seek God's comfort

I copied the death notice from the funeral home website.

URRY, Steven, of Guelph, passed away suddenly, Tuesday, December 5, 2006, age 13 years. Beloved son of Mike and Pam Urry. Loved brother of Tasha. Loving grandson of Helen and Donald Urry and Terry and June Goodmurphy and great grandson of Martha Goodmurphy and Willis Beilhartz. Dear nephew of Travis and Tracy Reid. Friends will be received at the WALL-CUSTANCE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 206 Norfolk St., Guelph, Friday (2-4 & 7-9 p.m.). Funeral service will be held, in the funeral home chapel, Saturday, December 9, 2006, at 11 a.m. Memorial contributions to the Martin Kruze Memorial Fund, Unit 9, 1151 Gorham St., Newmarket, ON L3Y 8Y1 would be appreciated.

A tree will be planted in memory of Steven Urry in the Wall-Custance Memorial Forest, University of Guelph, Arboretum. Dedication service Sunday, September 23, 2007, at 2:30 p.m..

Condolences for the family may be left at ( - - see the Death notices section and clickon Stephen's name.

I want to thank the many friends and family who have already sent emails or made phone calls of condolences to Linda and to her family. Knowing people are praying always helps in times when there doesn't seem to be anything we can do but go on in faith trusting in God to carry us through.

Our friend Roger sent this devotional as something to think about in these situations

Date: December 6, 2006 8:39:08 AM EST (CA)
Subject: December 6, 2006 - God's-eye view - Daily Devotional

December 6, 2006

God's-eye view by John Fischer

“For now we see through a glass, darkly …” (1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV)

I had a mentor once who loved to teach about faith from a 20-foot long timeline of Bible history that he used as a powerful visual effect. He would roll out this room-sized diagram with a long line from Adam and Eve to the present day. On it, at appropriate spots, he would place little figures representing some of the well-known characters of the Bible such as Abraham, Moses, David, Ezekiel, and Paul. Then, he would walk over to where, say, Moses was, turn him toward the future, and place a dark pane of glass right in front of his nose.
“This is how much Moses could see when he looked this way,” he would say, and because we had the perspective of the rest of the timeline, we could understand Moses’ dilemma, but also gain strength from what we knew lay ahead of him that he couldn’t see. In other words, in relation to Moses, we had more of a God’s-eye view of things.

Though Moses could not see into the future, there were two directions he could look, both of which were useful to his faith and in turn are useful to ours. He could look back and see how God had been faithful in his own life up until then, and, most importantly, he could look up to God and put his trust in the one who sees all.

The obvious lesson here is that we are in a similar place. We can only look back to the past and up to God, and remember there is a God’s-eye view of this; we just can’t see it right now. He knows what he’s doing and how the events of our lives fit into his overall purposes for us and those around us. He sees reasons we have no access to. He sees a plan that looks at best murky from our point of view. But the future, and God’s purposes for us, and the reliability of his promises are no less reliable than they were to Moses. In fact, we have the huge benefit of much more history than Moses ever had – the fulfillment of things he could only dream about.
So just remember, whatever you are going through today or wondering about in relation to tomorrow, there is a God’s-eye view of this. Look up.

While I am posting here are updates on the other situations that I had asked readers to pray about.

Jack King -seems to be starting to recover. They upped his anitbiotic Monday . He is now starting to eat a little. Hopefully he has "turned the corner". I talked to him on the phone this afternoon and he is at least able to be out of bed andisfeeling alittle stronger each day.Heexpects alongrecovery timebefore he is back tofull strength.

Kayla - remains in hospital. (Tracy called a couple of times in the past 2 days. They did more surgery on the knee to "flush out" the infected area and put inantibitics. According to Tracy the Dr. said the knee was worse than before and he thought they would likely need to do the procedure again. Kayla was having a bonescan today see if it has spread. Definitely going to be a long haul -- very tough for a 5 year old.

Morris Whitehead had his hip replacement and is recovering. Everything seems to have gone well and if recovery continues as expected he will be out on Friday.

We are planning to leave Friday for the funeral. I have made arrangements for someone else to proctor my exams Friday a.m. and Lloyd will fill in for my class and sermon that was scheduled for Sunday.

Keep us in mind as we travel. We hope to go to see Len & Tracy while we are in the area.

God Bless

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


In my last post I mentioned 3 people close to us –Jack, Kayla and Morris who needed prayer. I am grateful for those who have added these names to their prayer lists. I believe prayer has a tremendous power—even when the outcome isn’t the one we would like.

I thought I would provide a quick update (including some emails "pasted in" from updates I have sent to friends and family.

Jack (King) seems to be on the mend. The Dr. put him on a stronger antibiotic on Monday. I understand he was out of bed and resting on the couch this morning and is eating some light foods. We hope and pray that this means he has turned the corner and will soon be back on his feet.

Morris (Whitehead) had his hip replacement surgery yesterday and all seems to have gone well. I visited him at noon today and he was able to eat soup (liquid only diet). He was up once this morning and seems to be on track. The Dr. said he expects him to be released on Friday. Goldie was there with him and as I was leaving Guy & Margaret Stoppard came in. Guy is the preacher for the Thessalon congregation that Goldie & Morris are a part of.

This leaves Kayla –We are still very concerned about her. From the 2 updates below there are mixed results. Apparently the blood test results show some progress in fighting the infection (from). However, we just heard from Tracy around noon today that the surgeon wants to do the surgery to "flush out" the knee again because it is still badly swollen. However, it has to be “fit in” to his schedule so there is no specific time yet. Nothing else has changed from what Rachel told us last night. On top of that Mac (Rachel’s partner) had a tire blow out on his way to the hospital this morning resulting in minor damage to his vehicle—fortunately he wasn’t on the main highway and wasn’t traveling at a high speed. Please prayers for this family.

Prior email updates

Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2006 09:56:
Subject: Kayla Update
Rachel called us about 1:30 a.m.--They had a surgeon come in from Toronto to look at Kayla and he decided further surgery was NOT necessary last night. The good news was that the blood tests are showing improvement (reduced infection) . However, at best, it is still going to be a long haul before she is completely recovered. They are planning a bone scan today to determine if the infection has gotten into the bone. If it has the treatment could take up to 6 months. Drs. have said will be putting in a "pic"line (permanent IV adaptor) sometime in the next day or so.

Len & Tracy are "camping out" at the hospital because the weather has been bad and making travelling from Rachel's to hospital difficult.

Weyford Smith has been in touch with them and is providing some local support for the family.

Date: Mon, 04 Dec 2006 18:45
Tracy just called and Kayla is scheduled for more surgery at 10p.m. this evening -- no info on the reason for the surgery or what type of surgery but clearly isn't what they were hoping for.

Other than the time keeping up with these situations, I have been busy wrapping up my courses, grading papers and continuing to work on preparing exams. My last class sessions are this evening. I’ve been developing a ”study guide” which I will go over to-night to highlight the main points the students should know. The exams are Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.. It will be nice to be finished!!

I was out with Linda yesterday for a couple of hours and I finished my Christmas shopping (I just have Linda) and helped her some with the family shopping.

This morning we made a trip to visit the “BBB” in storage. Linda went through and collected some things I hadn’t taken out before I put the “beast” into storage (She was away when I did that). I started the engine and moved it forward and back just to keep things lubricated. It was sad to have to walk away again because we do enjoy being on the road.

After that we went to Sears and did som emore shopping. Bumped into some folks we knew so some of that time was more pleasurable visiting rather than shopping.

BTW – we have winter here. It started snowing last Friday and has continued off & on all weekend. We now have about 4 inches(10 cm) on the ground and it is cold ( 5-10F or -15 to -10C)

God Bless

Monday, December 04, 2006

Or 2 …

Incredibly it has been over 2 weeks since I last did an entry. I thought I’d better put something here just to let anyone who hasn’t given up on me know that I’m still alive.This will be short because I have a full day scheduled.

I won’t bother making any excuses for not blogging. Bobby Cohoon in his comment (November 23rd) on my last post said I had no excuse and I believe him. The truth is that I have been focused on a number of other things and I have just ran out of day before I had the chance to do a journal entry.

Looking back though I can’t remember too many “big” things – just life – that has kept me busy.

It has taking a fair bit of time keeping up with my courses, with end of term approaching that has required additional effort and I’m still behind on grading as a result of being away. I also was working on a proposal through the university to do some training for a local company. And of course there were the usual family & church things to keep up with.

We made a trip last week end to Meaford (24th – 26th)for Clyde & Wilma Lansdell’s 50th. I hope to have some pictures and more detail from that in my next post.

I haven’t even been able to make my blogging rounds and I’ve not been doing anything with the Berean list – other than reading and making the occasional comment and I haven’t even looked at it for several days. On the up side I haven’t been experiencing “withdrawal” so I guess my “addicition” isn’t too severe.

Dee Andrews gave me an “honorable” mention in her “judges” report on her contest. (Maybe it would be better tosay “dishonorable” since I got hung upon the acronym DOA (based on her initials).Anyhow you can find the results by clicking on the link in her email below.

Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 11:32:57 -0600From: Dee Ann Andrews
Subject: Finding Direction Contest Winners Announced!!

Hi!Y'all drop by Finding Direction to see all of the winning names and the big winners announced today from the Finding Direction Name the Fan Club Contest that just ended. It's a fun day!
Cheers, y'all!
Have a fun day yourselves!Dee

There are several situations that have occupied some of our time and a lot of our prayers.

We have friends – Harold & Marion Long who are part of our church family at Pinehill. Marion’s younger brother Danny (Hilderly) had been ill a few weeks ago and I visited him in hospital. He had gone home and was doing reasonably well but and last weekend he had a stroke and passed away suddenly. We attended the funeral last Tuesday.

Linda’s sister-in-law Sally (Goodmurphy) was there because of a church connection to Danny’s nephew who was ”officiating” at the funeral so we invited them over and had a good visit over coffee. Unfortunately with large families we don’t get to visit them that often. (Which reminds me that Linda also spent a half day looking after her niece Tracy’s twins last week)

My brother-in-law Morris is undergoing hip replacement surgery this morning.

We have been concerned with our granddaughter Camdyn as she fights off an ear/throat infection that has persisted since we were there a couple of weeks ago. She seems to be over it now but it has been a special concern to us because of the situation with our friend’s granddaughter as described in email I sent to some friends of ours last evening.

Date: Sun, 03 Dec 2006 19:56:26
Subject: Kayla (Roetman) & Jack King

**Update - Sunday evening **
Kayla - remains in hospital. (We talked to Christie (Rachel's sister) tonight. Christie spent the weekend at the hospital -- Kayla is in a lot of pain but is stable - with no fever. They did a minimally invasive surgery (elbow & arm) on Friday evening putting in "holes" so they could flush out the infected areas and put in antibiotics.

Best case she will be in hospital for week to 10 days while the remaining infection is completely cleared out of her system. Worst case - the infection is spread into her bones in which case they will put a direct IV in for antibiotic treatment --At this point they are NOT talking of anything more radical to stop the infection. (By the way - we had her age mixed up she is 5 - closer to our granddaughter not our grandson's age).

Len & Tracy left SSM this morning to travel to be with them.

** Original - on Saturday **
Some of you know that Len & Tracy's daughter Heather has a suspicious lump and is scheduled to see a surgeon for a biopsy on December 12.

In addition to that stress in their family, last evening their granddaughter Kayla (their oldest daughter Rachel's oldest child -- approx 8 years old) was admitted to McMaster Hospital in Hamilton and underwent surgery to her knee and elbow to remove flesh damaged by a virulent infection and to pack in antibiotics to try to stop the spread.

While we are uncertain of the details it appears that this is the result of a "superbug" that sometimes attacks people who have been using antibiotics to address another form of infection. In Kayla's case she has just finished treatment for pneumonia, The doctors said they might have to do additional surgery dependent on whether this was sufficient to stop the spread of the infection.

A very serious and worrisome situation.Len & Tracy are making preparations to travel to Hamilton to be there to support Rachel as they work through this.
Please be praying for Kayla, Heather and the Roetman family as they deal with these situations.

Jack King ** Update **
Jack continues to be in serious distress at home. The antibiotics may have reduced the severity of the infection but have yet not made any significant improvement in the symptoms. They will be reviewing the situation with Dr. tomorrow to determine next steps.

** Original (Friday –Dec. 1)**
Barb King just called and they have confirmed that Jack has contracted the C-Difficile infection -- which is causing very severe gastrointestinal distress, He is at home, on a clear fluids diet and is struggling to stay hydrated. Now that they have confirmed the source they are putting him on medication to treat it.
(Some may know that Jack was ill a couple of weeks ago with similar symptoms but the original testing was negative. He recovered for about a week and then had this relapse.)
In any case please be praying for Jack & for Barb.

Well folks that’s it for now – hopefully I will be able to get back to doing this a little more frequently. Classes end this week – I give my exams Thursday & Friday so it will be a full week.

God Bless