But as it turns out (incredibly -- at least to me) it has been almost 2 weeks since I last posted, so this post is a bit of a rag tag collection of things that have occurred (or occurred to me) in the past 12 days.
I actually had intended to post last weekend but life intervened.
One of the main interventions has been the weather—yea I know everyone likes to talk about the weather and how it affects their life and it is more often that not just a convenient topic to avoid dealing with “real life”. But there is at least some “substance” to my comment.
We have been blessed with 100 cm. (40”) of snowfall over the past 2 weeks and it came in regular daily bursts of 5 to 15 cm ( 2 to 6 inches) which meant the driveway had to be cleaned out everyday—and that took about an hour when all was said & done. The picture shows how it looked on our street as I was finishing up Friday morning.
Yesterday morning was the first day in 2 weeks that there wasn’t a bank of snow at the end of the driveway left by the snowplow doing its nightly run. And we were able to go out for services without first having to clear away the snow.
Related to the snow was the fact that, during this period, we were trapped in a frigid mass of artic air that got stuck over our area. I took this shot this morning out our living room window showing the patio and the "garden" area out back.
The rest of this paragraph is for the benefit of any who don’t know about the concept of “lake effect” snow. The usually warm December and early January meant that Lake Superior hadn’t frozen over. The winds from the west picked up moisture from the “warm” lake and then dumped it as snow flurries as it came over the colder land mass. Actually, we were fortunate to have “only” 100 cm because the geography of Whitefish bay means that “lake effect” snow falls in a very narrow band precisely determined by the wind direction and the wind was shifting by a few degrees every so often causing the flurries to move around.
John Dobbs writing about the GodThirst project in Pascagoula week before last made a remark that there was always room for a retired couple to come and spend a week following up with those that had received help from Central –there were still many needs both physical and spiritual where someone could be of service. It seemed to me that he might have had Linda & I in his mind when he wrote that – probably not but it certainly tugged at my heart. I was ready to fire up the BBB and hit the road.
As I was blowing snow the next day, I was pondering this and concluded the “tugging” was a temptation not a “Macedonian” call from God --tempting for 2 reasons –1) there was no snow on the Gulf coast and 2) it is easy to go somewhere to do things and ”run away” from the realities and challenges you are facing where you are. As I pondered the thought that came was the old cliché of “blooming where you areplanted” and that seems to be God’s message for our life this winter.
Speaking of blooming – our daughter-in-law Tammye gave Linda an Amaryllis bulb for Christmas. When Linda opened the box it appeared that it had already bloomed and died. Since they are only supposed to bloom once a year she thought it was too late. But she left it on the kitchen counter where it caught ( what little) after noon sun that came in. Lo and behold it bloomed and what a beautiful thing in the middle of winter. As the picture with the reflection in the mirror shows, it now has four flowers with a fifth on the way.
The other thing that has delayed my posting is the commitment to working on the “Honey Dew” list (as Bobby Cohoon recently called it) . The last 2 weeks we have been working through the house cleaning carpets. We have done the bedroom/study and the master bedroom. This week we tackle the living room – dining room.
I have also put a push on catching up with the Berean list and finally did that yesterday afternoon – first time since mid-December that I reading “to-day’s” posts without having a backlog of unread items that I wanted to at least scan over.
I helped my Dad prepare Thank you notes for his 90th celebration – the following was placed in the Sault Star on Saturday
I want to thank my friends, neighbors and family who helped me celebrate my 90th birthday. I especially thank Bob Woolley, Marg Beilhartz and the bowlers at the Churchill Lanes for the cake and celebration on Friday and those who visited at the Little Rapids Heritage Centre on Saturday January 13th. I also received many cards and calls. It was marvelous to have my family present and to have so many people wishing me a Happy Birthday. The coverage by the Sault Star, MCTV and Soonews.ca was overwhelming. Again a BIG THANK YOU to everyone involved in this wonderful celebration. Mervyn Whitfield
Last Thursday I was pallbearer at a funeral. It was one where I could genuinely say that I felt nothing but relief and happiness from the family and friends. Len Dupuis was 66 years old. He was my first boss when I joined Algoma Steel in 1974. After a few years I was promoted to the same level and we worked for the same boss in different functions for several years. He was a friend and mentor – and at times a real pain. In 1992, we had offices close to each other and I remember seeing him one day just after lunch .He was complaining that he had forgotten his password again and had to have one of the techs come and reset it. He told me that it had been happening frequently and he had a Dr’s appointment that afternoon to get it checked. That was the last time he was at work. They found a brain tumor—began treatment but concluded that it was inoperable and untreatable—he was going to die. Then, just as he had deteriorated to the point that he couldn’t function independently—and really wasn’t aware enough to carry on a conversation -- at the point where the Dr’s said it was only a matter of days or weeks at most – the tumor went benign and he was left very much in the state of an infant totally dependent on others for care and incapable of communicating with others.
One of our co-workers organized a visitor’s brigade and for several years a number of us visited daily and then weekly to give him encouragement and to provide some relief to Cathy (his wife)and other family members who were by his side. However, eventually he did slip deeper into unawareness and our ability to continue the visiting dropped off. I saw him infrequently through to 1999 when my mother was hospitalized and Len was in the long-term care unit at the hospital. Unfortunately, and perhaps inexcusably, I never saw him after that.
He was moved to a long term care facility—and he no longer recognized anyone or had any awareness of what was happening—he was locked in a prison were no one could come. Last Sunday he was released—I pray into the arms of our Lord. Len was a faithful and committed Christian who expressed his faith in the Catholic tradition. It was inspiring that at the funeral the priest had a personal relationship with Len and spoke oftimes they had spent together. Cathy was a musician and was the pianist for several parishes prior to Len’ s illness.
Because of the work based relationship and the time we had spent visiting Len, several of his Algoma steelco-workers were asked to be pallbearers’ and I was honored to be included in that request.
I think Len’s son Jim expressed it best when he said “I lost my father 15 years ago – Today he has been released and I am happy for him and in many ways I feel like we can now resume our relationship through faith.”
I was saddened to learn that Cathy who had selflessly and faithfully ministered to her husband for over 10 years had succumbed to a form of dementia and she was now confined to a nursing home and unable to be present (and comprehend) that Len was free at last. May God grant that her time in this "prison" is shortened and she can soon be freed to be with Len again.
On a lighter note one of the side effects of being asked to be a pallbeareris that I now have a suit again. My last suit had worn out (too much sitting and the seat was threadbare) a couple of years ago and I had kept saying – one of these days I need to get a new suit but had been getting by with dress pants and a sports jacket. Tuesday we went and picked out the suit so I would have it for Thursday’s funeral. God works in mysterious ways…??
A couple of “family” things. I just found out that my sister Goldie has a minor “female” procedure scheduled for next week. Morris’ hip replacement has gone well and they are back at their home on the lake but they are in the Sault to-day for Dr’s appointments and are coming over for supper.
Marion Long who is a part of our Pinehill family fell yesterday morning (in the aisle inside the building) on her way out after services yesterday. She was talking to someone (anyone who knows Marion will know that this is a “natural” state for herand had her head turned and tripped over one of the kid’s feet. She was in emerg all afternoon but after extensive X-rays there apparently was nothing more than a bruise. She is in pain but in good spirits when we talked to her this morning.
Well that’s enough about me somethings from the blogging world
Dee Andrews posts a “rare” Saturday blog and muses on long winding preachers and long worded bloggers.
Wade Tannehill has an interesting series on Prayer, which sparked quite a debate on the issue of whether an unchangeable God can be persuaded to change his mind.
Neva in her “Dancing in the light” post for Sunday February 11 says “Arrrrgh!!! because she has just discovered that Shirley Maclaine has a book with the same title. (BTW – you should read Neva’s first blog in October 2006 to understand how her title is connected to one of my favorite scriptures - 1 John 1:7 . I doubt that Shirley has a Biblical inspiration for her title) Anyhow – Neva was concerned ( and rightly so based on my experiment with Google) that people looking for this title would find Shirley’s book and not her blog. However, it appears that even without Shirley, Neva has a lot of competition – I had to use “Dancing in the light blog Neva” (or search for an exact Match on “Dancing in the light” plus blog ) to get a hit on her site come up on the first page of a Google search. But not to worry Neva – I couldn’t even get one hit on my blog using the same techniques
Someone posted a link to this marvelous microscopic art by Willard Wigan – - see http://www.willard.wigan.com/ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvNM482fH3A - it’s awesome. I checked on the http://www.snopes.com/ and it is legit.
Larry James in his Urban Daily has a quote about Love, courage & wisdom and what it means to have 2 of the 3 -- and ends with “But the one who has love, courage and wisdom moves the world."
I think I fit one of the "2 out of 3" categories. If you know me and wish to, send me an email telling me which of love, courage and wisdom you think I might be missing. I'm always am interested in seeing how well my perception of myself matches others perceptions.
The rest of this post is about playing “INTERNET tag” in the game of life
Jim MacKenzie is tagged by Danny Sims and shares about his experience at Great Lakes Christian College. Well he doesn’t actually say it was GLCC but I believe it was because I know Jim’s family.
Steven Goad Clark who I’ve met on the Berean list tagged back to my BEREAN post even though I spared him and hadn’t tagged him. He wrote
“ Nobody tagged me. Nobody cares. So I will tag myself.
Things you may not have known about me.....and may not care!
Four jobs I've had: Masseur - Engineering office at Generous Motors -Restaurant Manager - Parson
Five favorite movies: Spartacus - The Quiet Man - Shannandoah - Brave Heart- The Patriot
Four places I've lived: Indianapolis - Mobile - Mesa - Blythe (Having spentover one fourth of my life in beautiful blissful Blythe)
Four favorite TV shows: Rockford Files - Hill Street Blues - In the Heat of the Night - Barnaby Jones
Four vacation spots: Niagara Falls - Tampa Florida - Aruba - Out West
Four web sites I look at: Spending Time With Jim McGuiggan - ChristianChronicle - Google Search - Rubel Shelly.com
Four favorite foods: Potroast with rice and gravy - Salad - Garlic noodles or pasta - Gospel Bird
Four places I'd like to be right now: Visiting my aged pappy in Indy -Heaven - Feasting with my elders - In my baby's arms
Four friends I think will respond: Jerry Fox - Jackie Snow - Marshall Henson- Joe Barnett
Four colors: Blue - Black - Brown - Burgandy (and all the other B colors)
Favorite cars: 53 Mercury V8 flathead engine, 2 door hardtop (my first) -1964 Ford Falcon 260 V8 black hardtop (my first brand new car) - 1971 Impala(my first with air) - 2003 PT Cruise Turbo (my present wheels)
Favorite Scriptures: 1 John 5:13 - Romans 8 - Stephen's Sermon before beingstoned - Jesus' sermon on the mount
Favorite Holiday: thanksgiving
Four actors: Ed Begley, Sr. - Mickey Rooney - Anthony Hopkins - Meryl Streep
Four singers: Reba - Pavoratti - Elvis - AlabamaFour trees: Dogwood - Maple - Purple Plum - Oak
Four seasons: Fall - Spring - Summer - Winter (in that order, grin)
Four classical music offerings: New World Symphony - Sheherezad - BarteredBride Overture - Mephisto Waltz
Four stooges: Abbot & Costello - Lewis &Martin - Curly, Moe & Larry -Laurel & Hardy
Four desserts: Angel Food Cake - Mississippi Mud Pie - Millionaire Pie -Dad's Raisin Pie
Four books: Bible - Voyage of Discovery (Lewis & Clark) - John Adams - 1776
Four presidents: Adams - Lincoln - Jackson – Truman”
My brother-in law Art Ford responded to my tag with this
“I remember playing tag when I was a kid. Now that I'm only young at heart, I appear to have been invited to a game of internet tag.
I'm returning this to Charlie Whitfield who tagged me, and am copying it to three who might send me back you reply and tag three more.
Pg. 123 4th sentence. Any time the church needs reliable data, it can easily do the survey, process the data, and present the results much like in the graph above. This provides a dependable basis for planning further steps. I sincerely hope that in the future surveys like these will no longer cause fear and trembling-as is still the case in many places-but might become a normal "behind the scenes" support activity of the church. Church quality control should become as routine as keeping track of worship attendance or giving. Christian A. Schwarz in Natural Church Development: A Guide to Eight Essential Qualities of Healthy Churches.
And his son Craig responded to Art’s tag with this
“Subject: RE: Tag, you're it
Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2007
Sorry All, I never read books over a hundred pages :)
Actually here goes
Yet when he speaks of seeing the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ he uses language which practically amounts to seeing in Christ the image of God.
F.F. Bruce Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free
My cousin Myra demurred – accepting my word that a response was optional. Shame on you Myra—people really do want to find out more about you!!! (but that’s OK and I love you anyhow :) :)