Saturday, March 31, 2007

Staying at home for real

My last post (15 days ago) I extolled the wonders of being able to take a (virtual) trip while at home. Since then I’ve been confined (more or less) to living at home here in the real world.

A quick update on the weather. Most of the snow has gone. Linda spent yesterday afternoon in her “garden” raking leaves and general cleanup. We actually have some spring blossoms poking up and she heard her first robin. Spring is here –although we’ll likely get a few nasty days yet.

I also want to make a prayer request for Erin Hallam. Erin is the daughter of Verna Ray who is a dear Christian lady in our congregation. Erin has leukemia and is currently hospitalized with pneumonia. The prognosis is uncertain --

I have at least 4 major commitments on the go and that has kept me from having any time to wander around the INTERNET. I have been “lurking” on my Berean list browsing through the daily digests of activity but not participating. I haven’t visited any of my blogging friends. Sorry about that folks (of course most everyone has probably given up on coming by looking for me)

Job #1: My teaching (the course title is Understanding and using Information Technology in business) at Algoma University takes about 15 hours per week with class prep, assignments, tests etc. In addition I have been working with a couple of other people on a proposal for an a course on applying statistical analysis for improving industrial process and this has required a couple of meetings and some proposal writing.

Job #2: Getting a new car and getting it rigged as a tow vehicle that we can haul behind the “BBB” (they are referred to as dinghies or toads by RVer’s). We picked up the HHR 2 weeks ago (I guess I’ll have to have Linda give her own spin to those initials – they mean Heritage High Roof because it is based on a 1948 Chevrolet panel truck body – What about it folks anybody want to suggest a name for the HHR?? ) Yesterday we got it back from Christie campers with the towing hitch having been installed on the front end. After a bit of research I concluded we needed an auxiliary braking system for as well and was fortunate enough to get a “Brake Buddy” on sale through Sicard’s (the RV dealer where we bought the “BBB” -used – three years ago.) So aside from some minor details - that job is now complete. It is an expensive proposition but I hope in the long run it will be worthwhile. It will certainly give us more freedom to take in sights while we are traveling

Job #3; Preacher Evaluation (these jobs are listed in the order they have come up and don’t reflect importance or priority). Actually this has been an ongoing job since last fall but it really heated up in March. For 4 weekends in a row we have had someone “trying out” for the preaching role at Pinehill. In addition to organizing the “logistics”, coordinating the interview and evaluation process, Linda & I have hosted 2 of the couples in our home. So all that has taken a fair bit of time.

The weekend of March 11-12 we had Kevin & Nancy Cleary in our home for the weekend. Kevin is currently attending the East Tennessee Scholl of Bible & Missions in Knoxville.

From March 16 to March 26 we had Paul & Michelle Hillier in our home. Paul spoke & taught both Sundays (March 18 and March 25) as well as visiting with people during the week and teaching Wednesday night. Paul is a graduate of the Sunset’s International School of preaching (Edmonton) and is currently working (at a “secular” job) in Red Deer Alberta

This weekend we have Jon Knutson (he is being hosted by Barb King) from Bramalea . Jon is a recent graduate of Rochester Christian College in Michigan.

Ever heard of the phrase driving your car until the wheels fall off? On Sunday March 18 we had an incident that made me recall something that happened last year. A year ago today (March 31) we were in San Antonio Texas visiting the Alamo and taking a tour of the Riverwalk district – mentally recuperating from the scare we had when our we had a mechanical failure in the motorhome suspension that left us stranded in the middle of an intersection for 5 hours (Click HERE and scroll down for details).

The reminder came as we were driving Paul & Michelle to the church building on Sunday morning (March 18). I had been experiencing some type of slight “shimmy” in the front end of our old car, had checked (not closely enough it turned out) and not seen anything visible. As we were driving along the “shimmy”got worse and then we heard a bang and the front end started shimmying terribly –Fortunately it was at slow speed on City Street and there was a place to pull of the street into a parking lot. We got our and discovered that there was only one nut holding on by a thread that was keeping the front wheel on. (The bang was the one wheel bolt that was still tight breaking off. We found it and another nut a couple of car lengths back from where we stopped. The other 2 nuts were nowhere to be found.). I don’t know why they came loose or how long it had been happening but I think this may be why we seemed to being prevented from taking the car when we went to Kingston in February – God does work in mysterious ways!!

Job #4 Preparing to " launch" the “BBB”. We are planning a trip to BC leaving sometime in April and returning in June. This generates a very long list of things to be done, ranging from getting the BBB out of storage and getting a few repairs and general checkupto arranging out of province medical and cellphone coverage. -- we took the BBB to TMS truck service centre last Tuesday and it is still there waiting for some parts—main thing was repairing exhaust leaks through the “manifolds”. Linda has started organizing clothes. Still a long list and too little time!!

Well I need to wrap this up and get on with my work - I’m including a few miscellaneaous things that I did come across before I got “ grounded”

March 14 & 15 Notes on my virtual tour to Texas, North Carolina and other places unlknown

I visited “outnumbered – the story of lisa and her guys” – a new blog to me –I got there by a link on Bobby Cohoon’s post – Lisa provides a newsy overview of the life of a Christian mother with 3 young sons. Not sure where she lives but it is warm enough that the bulbs are poking up in her flower garden. Linda is dreaming of that day here but it will be a while –even with a 2 melting days and water running all over yesterday it will likely be a month before all the snow is gone—and we’ll be away when the garden is first ready for working.

Neva asks –What would you do if …. You knew the world would end in one week?
In a similar vein Bobby Cohoon uses the fact that North Carolina has been having tornado drills to suggest the need for “A Jesus drill”

Finally, I had an email from Rayburn (March 30) (he is the brother of Roger our former preacher) telling me about he decision to leave his position as the regional coordinator for Youth for Christ in Southern Ontario. In his letter had some quotes that I found very interesting and I’m passing on. I had known Rayburn almost allhis lifesince he is my cousin (2nd or1st once removed depending on how you do it) but had only really gotten toknow him after along conversation at his Mom & Dad’s 50th Anniversary in November (click HERE and scroll down)

Quotes by Andre Gide, a French novelist who lived from 1869-1951 and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1947.

Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

Rayburn was particularly taken by this quote:
One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

He felt that this quote along with the following 2 stories from he Bible were leading him to seek a new direction his life’s work.

Genesis (chapter 12) talks of Abraham being called by God to leave his country, his people, and his father’s household, and then it says “and go to the land I will show you.” In the book of Hebrews in the New Testament it says this about Abraham’s response to God: “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” (Heb. 11:8)

The other story is in the New Testament, and it’s that famous account of Jesus walking on the water. In Matthew’s record he includes this experience between Peter and Jesus:
Peter – “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”
Jesus – “Come ahead.”

Rayburn concludes “I’m struck by these stories as they present us with two ordinary guys who decided to follow the prompting of God within them to step out into the unknown and follow to a place that they hadn’t been before.”

It seems to me that this is the calling that God places in front of each of us. We can ask each day to be kept safe in the security of the known –but eventually life will overtake us and we will be forced to face the unknown or we can start each day with the prayer of Isaiah – which was the theme of Paul Hillier’s lesson’s when he was here “Lord Here am I –Send me”

God Bless
Charlie

4 comments:

Dee O'Neil Andrews said...

Hey, Charlie -

Haven't seen you around in a while over at Finding Direction and now I know why! Wow! You've been busy.

I've missed you, though.

Good to catch up with you and hope to see you soon.

Cheers & Blessings to you today! Dee

Neva said...

You are a busy, busy man. I will pray that God either lightens the load or gives you more hours in the day! :)
Peace brother
Neva

lisa leichner said...

Charlie, I don't think any of your friends (old or new) have quit checking up on you. Glad to see a new post! I was really surprised, though, to see a mention of me and my silly blog, but I do appreciate that! The gardening has been really exciting for me this year; this is the first time I've done any gardening as we're in our first house.

I would be honored to pray for Erin, the daughter of your friend, and I do hope you'll keep us updated on her progress.

I also hope & pray your congregation will find the best match for a preacher. Being a PK, I know the preacher's side of it can be pretty stressful, so I imagine the congregation's end is also stressful and hectic.

Every time I see the initials "BBB" I laugh, because here that stand for Better Business Bureau (do you have the same in Canada?). Hope your Big Beautiful Beast holds up for the trip. ;)

It's been a pleasure getting to know you, Charlie.

Stoned-Campbell Disciple said...

Charlie hope your journeys are full of adventure and joy. Now on those preacher evaluations ... take it easy ok, ;-)

Shalom,
Bobby Valentine