Group from Acton Baptist Church in Granbury, TX. In our living room in Fairview 5/17/09
Thursday, May 21, 2009
What can I tell you - it has been a strange winter/spring! Just about the time I want to look at a pair of crop pants - it snows! So, jeans are good all the time. The picture at left was taken on the way out to church on May 17th! The picture above is at Figure Eight Lake and that is Ray acting like he does not have a care in the world on May 7th.
We have heard never to plant a garden prior to Canada's May long weekend (which is different from Memorial Day in the US). Monday the 18th of May was Victoria Day (like in Queen Victoria of old) and it is a big deal. Anyway - the last two years I have planted my garden the first weekend in May and gotten away with it...no frozen veggies. This year I decided to wait and do it RIGHT. I did not hardly wait UNTIL May long weekend - I planted the Thursday before and we have had three snows since then. I think the little seeds are safe just so thankful I did not plant the tomato plants! Ray has been so good to bring in 10 pots/planters of flowers OR cover them up when it got below 0. Of course that same sweet man put boxes over my tulips as they came up to keep the deer away but alas at least 2-3 dozen were dinner for the deer. Made me just sick - but such is life. I have several inside our fence that are just about to bloom - finally we are having a day of sunshine.
We had the opportunity of having a 7th grader stay with us for almost a week when his mom & dad had to be in Edmonton for his uncle's surgery. He had a WII and almost every game that goes with it. Now, I had learned to COW RACE with one of our NAIT students who had lived here (Ryan) and so I love that game. I actually got to play on Guitar Hero (Terrance said I was even better than Ray - but believe me - that is not saying much). We were able to take him fishing one day and that was fun even though we did not catch any fish - the guy next to us was pulling them all out!
Ray and I have been back to Figure Eight Lake and done some fishing and hiking. It was Mother's Day and that is what I wanted to do. Matt called while we were out hiking and I had no idea we could even get cell service where we were...technology is amazing. We picked up trash on Ray's birthday - so why not fish on Mother's Day???
Last week we had two new babies born into our church family - Kaleb & Jasper...what precious boys and both red heads! The week prior to that on May 7th Zachary got here half grown (10 pounds 9 oz). Chelsie was born the end of April (our only girl but we were in NEED of boys in our nursery). Luan started the whole baby parade and made his big brother and sister proud. We have been busy with meals and showers lately....but that is a very good busy.
Sunday the 17th we had a group from Acton Baptist Church in Granbury, TX lead our Sunday School and worship. Ray had planned a Recognition service for Mission Service Corps Volunteers. We had folks from the Convention in Cochrane attend and also Ken & Darla Ponath from Cochrane who run the Disaster Relief and Baptist Builders here in Canada. We had a "potluck" after service and then they all crashed at our place for a while. Thirteen of them were able to make the trip North from Granbury. They were up here to put new siding on the Ivy Lake BC in Grande Prairie. They are working all this week. The ladies of the church sent me a huge box of goodies and I am just amazed at their generosity and praying hearts. THANK YOU ACTON BC....
Ray has gone to a Ministerial Meeting right now (the ministers of our town/area meet together once a month to plan. He then has a marriage counseling session and a hospital chaplaincy meeting and then praise team practice (I don't think I will see him until late!) Then Ray will leave early in the morning to drive to Edmonton (6 hours) for the Executive Board Meeting. He will drive home (6 hours)after the meeting so that will be a long day on the road. He will be traveling with Dick Hale, the pastor from Worsley. They will get in very late Friday night. Saturday we will have a "workday" at church and hopefully accomplish many tasks. Do you remember doing that?
Sunday night is the last of our College/20 Something meetings until Fall. We are having a hamburger cookout here at the house. Lawrence & Florence Smithson are so big hearted and have supplied most of our BEEF since we have lived here. The package of meat must have weighed 6 pounds that I made the patties from for our cookout. I hope the PARTY does not go too late as the next morning the 25th we drive to Grande Prairie very early for Ray to catch a flight to Calgary where the National Leadership Board will be meeting in Cochrane through Wednesday. So, I will make a trip back to GP on Wednesday to pick up the boy. It will be super quiet with him gone.
Our national convention is the end of June and first few days of July (I did tell you that Ray volunteered for me to speak to the pastor's wives - what a sweet man) It will be in Edmonton this year - we missed it the first two years we were here due to being on holiday. It was in Prince Edward Island last year and we were sorry to miss that lovely part of our Country.
Vacation Bible School is coming quicker than I would like. It is July 20-24 and I would like to ask you to be praying for us, our workers and students. We have the privilege of having Pleasant Ridge BC from Carrollton, GA coming back this year to help us out.....God is so good to send this wonderful team again this year. Several of the same folks are coming and we can't wait to catch up with them. They totally completed our school last year and filled in the gaps. They have such a gentle SPIRIT and were such a BLESSING to us.
We will not be leaving Canada this summer. It is the most wonderful time of the year here in summer. Perfect weather! We might make a trip over into British Columbia to see the sights and do some fishing but we will not fly SOUTH until maybe the US Thanksgiving. I have so enjoyed October Thanksgivings up here.
I am reading an old devotional book by Lloyd John Ogilvie "God's Best for My Life" and I wanted to share a little about the command to PERSEVERE. "Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon all the world, to test those who dwell on the earth".
I know when we read the paper we might ask - " will evil always be on the throne? How long must we wait for the vindication of God's people and purposes in human history? Jesus tells the Philadelphian Christians in Rev. 3:9-10 that He is still in control of history. There will be the constant rise and fall of evil empires and the ebb and flow of the tides of godless people. The very nature of the Christian faith is that it will always be in conflict with powers and causes that are against God.
The Lord praises their patient endurance. That's what we need, isn't it? Christ intercedes for us in the interfaces of transition when the world groans for peace, social justice, honesty, and love. Patience is seeing things from God's point of view and by His timing. Endurance results as the strength of our lives. We can live faithfully at any point of history, knowing that evil cannot prevail forever. The sense that God is still at work gives us courage to get to work wherever He would deploy us in His battle with evil. PATIENT ENDURANCE IS GOD'S GIFT FOR LIVING IN A SICK AND EVIL WORLD."
Just wanted to leave you with some encouragement to keep THE FAITH knowing that it is the Lord that enables you. H O P E
Sunday, May 3, 2009
I have experienced a lot of "first" things while living in Canada. First place I ever lived where it got so cold and had so much snow, first vegetable garden, first time a deer has eaten tulips out of my yard, first time I had to "plug my car in", first time I helped cook for 330 people, first time I walked 5 km picking up trash, first time I signed up for Facebook....anyway you get the idea. Now, I want to tell you about a couple of these.
Our ladies ministry had turned in a tender (bid) on catering the Hines Creek Ag Show (Agriculture) and we got the bid. We decided to try this to earn some monies for women's ministry projects. On Friday April 17th several of us met at church at 10:00 and began cooking and preparing for the meal we would serve on the 18th. Six of the biggest turkeys I have ever seen were cooked along with I don't how many pork tenderloins. I know my part was mixing and baking 30 sheet cakes (some white, some chocolate and some marble). Poor Florence peeled about 100 pounds of potatoes! We were on our feet for many hours and then went home to rest for the next day. The 4 vehicles that would transport the food to the arena were loaded on Saturday morning at 10:00 and then we began the process of putting the following menu on the table for 6:00pm.
Turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, pulled pork on rice with sweet and sour sauce, strawberry-mandarin orange-spinich salad, caesar salad, cranberry salad, rolls and FIVE kinds of triffle. Thank heavens for all the ladies who helped and dropped in to add another hand or two when needed and for Lisa's husband Mel and Ray. We got it all on the table on time and the raves started coming in (I was just so worried that our church would get a bad rap if we did not pull this off). What a blessing to get to WORK with these ladies and see how they used their gifts to enable us to do a lot of ministry this year. We made around $3000.
NOW, the 2nd adventure was the highway clean-up that is always done on the first Saturday in May. Our youth group is going to Edmonton for YC in May and they needed to raise some money. The Province was paying $100 a kilometer to any group that would pick up the trash. They provide the bags, gloves and orange vests. We had to watch a video on safety and then on this past Saturday (Ray's 64th birthday) we headed out from church at a little after 8:00am. We had a section of highway from the top of Dunvegan to the town of Rycroft...roughly 15 km. Ray had made us a couple of dandy jive sticks so we would not have to BEND OVER and mess up two old backs! Our first assignment was a 1 km section and then and 1.5 up and back and then another 1.5 km walk. We were a couple of dirty old people when we were finished but we as a group raised $2000 for our youth. Ron and Pauline Friesen who own Dunvegan Gardens fixed us grilled hot dogs, chips and sodas. What a treat - then they let us have a free trip to their ice cream store!! We were all so hungry that it was definitely an act of mercy for them to provide our food.
I know today was a full day. Ray got a call early to fill in teaching a Sunday School class. It was my day to keep my Sunday School class during worship time. We had afternoon service at the Harvest Lodge (retirement home). Then we had to get home to cook for the College Bible study group. We had a great time with the "gang" and then we welcomed Robert & Lou Chadwell from Texas.
I am noticing it is almost midnight and my brain cells are almost gone....so I will try to attach some pictures and call it a night.
Our Jacob called and told Papa that he caught a 10 pound large mouth bass....boy was he excited - and so were we!! Way to go Jake.