Monday, November 19, 2007

8 days in the Journey ...

I’m trying to get back into posting more frequently but it hasn’t seemed to happen. Probably because I keep wanting to say more – However, to get myself started I’ve been doing a daily journal entry and – good, bad or indifferent that what this post is - a daily log of the past 8 days (November 11 to 18) . Mostly mundane – with a few significant events (for me at least).

Sunday (18th) was a full day. We had our monthly potluck following services. Roger and Sandra (Regular readers may recall that Roger was our minister here up until September 2006- there are some entries about his family in my postings in July/August 2006). Their son Kyle and his wife Anna came by with their kids – Bayleigh and the just born (Wednesday 14th) new daughter Madison. Their daughter Jessica was there as well – it was good to see them all. Kyle is a medical student and had just finished a placement at Thessalon – which he had chosen because it meant Anna could stay with her parents here in the Sault and he would be close by when the baby came. He actually had the privilege of doing his first delivery for his own child.

After potluck we had a ground breaking ceremony. (even though we actually won't be "digging a hole" until spring we had planned this event when we thought we would be starting thisfall so we decided to go ahead -- it is symbolic of the fact that we are proceeding over the winter with some major interior enovations as well). I had to fill in for Lloyd who had been the one who along with Richarsd Mcnaughton had spearheaded the planning work over the past year -- he was ill and unable to attend. (L to R - Paul Hillier, Pauli Valli,myself and my Dad) .

We finished out the day with an area wide singing with about 75 people present- with visitors from Eastside and Thessalon.
I enjoy singing (even though I'm pretty tone challenged) and it was a moving experience to have so many voices lifted in song -- especially since several of the visitors are excellent singers and we had lost a lot of our musical talent over the past 2 years.

Saturday – Spent several hours preparing the “BBB” for storage (batteries removals) and similar things and in the afternoon took it out to John & Megan’s new storage barn. It’s not heated but it is at least under cover. (As I mentioned above) Roger & Sandra were in town -- and he came by for a visit. We caught up on family and discussed a number of “theological” issues -- this was something I had missed -- the “iron sharpening iron” conversations that Roger and I had over breakfast many times while he was here.

Friday – the day was taken up teaching - special course on Statistical Quality control for engineers from Algoma Steel.

Thursday – Morning was taken up in a meeting at the church building to review our plans for a building expansion and renovation. We had intended to put in the foundations this fall for a new entrance. The addition will provide accessibility (elevator) and other features. However, the group that was to do the framing in the spring had withdrawn from the project – so we decided to hold off on that part until spring to give us time to line up other sources to do the framing work. We are continuing to proceed with a number of interior renovations. Most of the rest of the day was spent preparing for my class

Wednesday - Spent the early morning preparing for my Friday class. I had dental cleaning just before noon and then took the “BBB” (motor home) to the Truck Service Center for Oil & Lube prior to storing for winter. When I went to pick it up the battery was dead –not sure why – the service guy said they had to use the Auxilliary start to get it going when they moved it – it may have been the brake lights because the pedal sometimes sticks down a bit and they stay on— when it has been sitting and isn’t being used – which has been the case. (I charged it on Thursday and it was fine so I guess it likely was the brakelights))

The previous Sunday (11th) we found thatmy Dad had a “strange” coat. Linda had gotten him a very nice fleece lined fall jacket and somehow it had gotten exchanged for a larger unlined coat. We had asked around with people where he had been but nothing showed up. Thursday a.m. we got an apologetic call from Cora – who had been at a Bible study with Dad the previous Thursday and had accidentally taken his coat – she had just discovered that she had his so that mystery was solved. We had Dad over for dinner as we have been doing most Wednesday’s. I had meeting at University and so didn’t get out to Wednesday services. Rob started a new class and apparently there was a good turnout.

Tuesday – I met with Paul & Rob in the morning to discuss some administrative things related to Paul’s “contract” and to work out plans for a visit by Joel Osborne- a young man we have supported (small amount) with a mission work in Sendai Japan.

Linda & I were at Lorraine’s to get our hair cut. Lorraine’s parent- Gordon & Dorothy Denis and her aunt Carol were there and we had a good visit with them. They were in town for a gathering of the Bailey family.
In the afternoon we went for a walk and I managed to get an hour to finish clearing the backyard of leaves. I also squeezed in a few hours of work for the course I am teaching.

In the evening, we were at a pot luck followed by a Sunday school (children’s) meeting. We are challenged with providing a quality program with very few teachers and a small number of children. It is easy to become discouraged – and even to ask is it worth continuing?—However, our confidence is in God not ourselves and our teachers are committed to giving what they can as long as there is 1 child to be taught.

Monday –
We took some time to drive to Thessalon, picked up Linda’s mom and drove out the see the “cabin” that Linda’s brothers Erin and Dan (and their construction partner Brent) are building on Cummings lake – off Highway 129 about 20 miles northeast of Thessalon .

Some “cabin” – It is at least 1500 sq. feet on the ground floor with a “loft” – It has cedar beams and a high cathedral ceiling—and a view out over the lake that could take your breath away.

Way out of my league to be able to invest in the area of a half million dollars for a place to come a few weeks out of a year. It is far from finished -- the frame is up and they are putting the steel on the roof.

The interior is still completely unfinished. We were left to imagine what it would look like with a floor to ceiling stone.

We dropped by at her sister Arliss’ and had supper there (takeout because Arliss had just come in from a long day’s work) before coming home.
The trip is “strange”, because after 45 years of making that trip, there is a new piece (15 miles) of 4-lane, which by-passes the congestion of Echo Bay and the Garden River reserve.

Sunday November 11 is Remembrance Day in Canada – a day set aside to honor the veterans of various wars -- We have one member at Pinehill who is a veteran of WWII and several others with connections to those conflicts. Linda’s father was injured as a young man fighting in France – so it was a day with real meaning to many of those attending our services yesterday. And we took a moment t the traditional 11o’clock hour to silently remember and perhaps many as I did prayed that nations could stop waging war – but I suppose that as long a there are humans who fail to honor their make these for.

One thing I think is important is that we see that honoring those who have been willing to put their lives on the line in these conflicts is NOT the same as honoring or endorsing the leaders and individuals who are the ultimate sources of these conflicts. War is abhorrent and those who see war and terrorizing other people as a means of achieving their personal goals are callous uncaring individuals who put their own glory above the value of other people’s lives. However, it is also a reality that refusing to do anything to protect the innocent and weak from death and terror is equally abhorrent. How Christians respond to a call to war is a matter of much debate and, perhaps it is my “ostrich” gene (head in the sand) nature but I am thankful that this has not been something that has been up close and personal issue with me. What I mean is that it is easy to say you should or shouldn’t take up arms in defense of your country -- but if you (or your children) are not personally faced with this choice it seems a bit hypothetical and to impose those views on others seems hypocritical.

Sunday was also a busy day for me. Our preaching minister Paul called me on Saturday and said he had lost his voice due to a cold. Since the other person who might have stepped in was away that meant I ended up being on the hook for the Sunday a.m. class and the sermon in addition to the Sunday evening class that I was already doing.

The class was relatively easy so I have a large collection of previous lessons that can easily be “dusted off” in this type of situation. The sermon could be more of a challenge. I do have a file of prior lessons but they usually require updating because I often build them around illustrations tied to specific “current events”. So I used another strategy – I went on the INTERNET and found a recent lesson (Click HERE) posted by my friend JD—Of course I adapted it a little and digressed from the “script” as the “Spirit moved” but it allowed me to provide (what a least 2 or 3 people said was) a meaningful lesson on fairly short notice – Thanks JD

Speaking of JD- I had an email from him telling of the death of one of the people we had met when we were in Pascagoula when we were there. Steve had lived a troubled life but he had come to Mississippi after Katrina because he felt God’s call to do so. Steve wrote an electronic book “Out of Chaos (Click HERE - this may not be available for long following Steve’s death) ) He had been working in Pascagoula and had moved intoan apartment – Sadly he died alone and was not found for several days.

I made a few quick stops in “blogland” this morning. (Monday Nov. 12)

One visit that I especially liked was Neva’s post – she compares the way we approach our Christian lives as a choice to “eke” out a living when a much more profitable “job” is there for the asking. – Are you choosing a “Meager existence”?

Well – that’s our journey for the past 8 days – Likely the next week will be similar.

1 comment:

John Dobbs said...

Always good to see you post. Glad the thoughts were helpful!