Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Concert 12-12-2010

This is my Sunday School class on the left singing Away in a Manger. They are singing the "lay down His sweet head" - precious. See I have all those little girls and 1 boy! The picture on the right is our other children's classes - they sang amazaing well! I was so proud of "Katie" who directed the entire presentation. It was snowing the entire time like in a movie. I pray that each of these children will grow up to look like our Jesus and please our heavenly Father.
Only 6 more SLEEPS and I hope to see some of you in Texas! Thank you Fairview Cornerstone Baptist Church for this wonderful surprise trip.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


No, this is NOT my Thanksgiving table! (left picture) This is the table that I hostessed for the Ladies Tea and Silent Auction that we have in November each year. Our ladies donate items new or homemade that we sell to attendees to raise monies for our mission projects. Our theme (in case you did not notice) was A Winter Wonderland. It is so much fun to work with several of our young ladies - boy do they have creative minds. It was such a lovely evening with our chai latte, cider, flavored teas, assortment of cakes, (picture on right - this picture was taken before all the cakes arrived), door prizes, skits, candy cane devotion, singing and wonderful conversations. It was a very cold evening but we had no snow. BUT, I might add that we do now. I guess it is here until May.
Mona is leading a Mom to Mom study on Wednesday mornings and I help round up their kids while they study. Patty Hale & Carole Seghers are there to help and we can have up to 16 kids. Now if that will not keep you young.....I don't know what will!
The church surprised us on the first Sunday of November by asking us to leave right before Ray preached. Then when they brought us back into the worship center and they informed us that the church had given us a trip home for Christmas. We were so shocked but elated at the same time. This will be our 5th Christmas up here and the first time we have gone to Texas to be with family. It did not take me long to purchase our tickets. We decided to fly out of Calgary as it is less money but also gets us home with less flying hassles. We will drive to Calgary after church on the 19th and stay at the airport. We fly out early on the 20th of December and arrive before noon at DFW. Paul will pick us up and take us to his place to pick up a car and we will then head north to Matt and Heather's. Christmas Eve we will all drive to Paul & Laura's to spend our family time together. I AM SO EXCITED. The rest of the time will be spent with family/friends. We do not fly home to Fairview until the 5th of January. Sure hope Arlington does not have a white Christmas (sorry kids).

Jake had surgery for a deviated septum on Friday the 19th and I was so thankful that Matt could be with Laura (Paul had to be in Tampa for work). Laura's dad, Mike, stayed at the house and got Caleb & Luke to all their appointed places. Laura parents are great!!

It has been in the -20's for almost 2 weeks now and I think my body is FINALLY getting used to it. It was sooooo mild up until then. It is "very" hard to go to the pool at 10:00am when it is this cold - why would anyone be in a bathing suit when it is that cold. But I certainly feel better doing the water aerobics. Burr

My main reason for writing this particular blog is to say that I pray all of you who will celebrate Thanksgiving this week will be mindful of the goodness of the Lord. "Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One, give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ our Lord, and now let the weak say I am strong, let the poor say I am rich because of what the Lord has done for us.....give thanks"! Great and mighty is HE. Love to all our family and friends,


December birthdays and anniversaries

6 Carrie & Mike Hodges

10 Bob & Sharon Shannon

11 Max Ray Graber
( Hopefully Master Eli Shannon will be here on the 15th)

18 Ray & Hope Shannon (44)

21 Marylyn Smith

25 Linda Shannon

31 Tate Davis

Monday, November 1, 2010

Travel, travel and more travel

It has now been over a month since I put anything on our blog. I am sorry, what can I say, I am sorry. I have talked to some family/friends over the time but many of you I have not kept in touch with and shared in your life experiences. Emails have been a life thread to many of you but one day I hope to sit and visit with you face to face.

The first Sunday in October found us having a potluck at church at which time we received so many wonderful foodstuffs from our church family. They really do recognize "pastor appreciation month". We held service at Harvest Lodge in the afternoon and then entertained our college/singles group over dinner with Bible study.

This is such a busy time of year for our church family. The ladies ministry is very involved in many activities. We had our monthly meeting on the 4th of October which was preceded by a committee meeting for our quickly upcoming ladies tea and silent auction. The tea will be held on 11-12 and will be A Winter Wonderland (which I am happy to report that we do NOT have yet).

We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving on the 10th with a few folks from church. We enjoyed ham, sweet potato souffle, cranberry salad, green been casserole, a great lettuce layered salad (thanks Lora), pumpkin pie (thanks Jolene & mom), peach & bumbleberry pies (thanks Florence).... and not to have too many pies I had to make Ray a couple of pecan. It was a great relaxing day of good fellowship.

Susan Elaine Smith Davis Vanhooser celebrated a birthday on the 12th - sweet niece

Heather Cheri Bennett Shannon celebrated a birthday on the 14th - sweet daughter (in-law)

William CONNOR Lyons Davenport celebrated a birthday on the 15th - awesome nephew

Tammy McIlvoy celebrated a birthday on the 25th - dear friend

Ray and I left Fairview on Heather's birthday (14th) to drive to Calgary for our annual Midwest Baptist Association meeting. It was so good to visit with Mary Winn & Wilson and stay in their lovely home while in Calgary. Our meetings were Friday evening and Saturday morning. We took advantage of the opportunity of being near Cochrane and the CNBC and the CSBS to pick up books and literature. It was quite the snowy drive over that way and we had not experienced that up our way. We also enjoyed catching up with Dan & Melanie Morgan again. We enjoyed a great lunch with the two couples at Whitespot.... new place and I loved it - yummy tomato bisque soup! Ray and Wilson got into college football games while Mary Winn and I tried to put her house back together after all the foods she had prepared for our meetings. Good job Mrs. Nelson!!

Sunday morning (the 17th)Ray took me to the airport where I flew to LAX to be picked up by our dear friend Nancy Peterson. (picture of me and the bougainvillea is shopping in Orange, CA) Ray then started the long drive back to Fairview - by himself . While in California it rained the first 4 days - Nancy said that never happens until December...I am Jonah. That did not slow us down one bit. I enjoyed visiting and catching up with my friend, working on home projects, shopping, EATING (see chicken tostada above) and sightseeing. I attended high school for 9th & 10th grades not far from where they live. The world that God made for us to live on really is small.
One of the highlights was attending morning worship at Saddleback Church (first picture above). Rick Warren was in the pulpit and Sara Kelly sang that morning. Their campus is H U G E but their hearts and ministries are even larger. Rick said of the 300 ministries that their church was involved in - he did not start a one - the people all undertook projects that touched their hearts. Sounds like the NT to me.

Ray had a busy week and on Sunday he had his Sunday school class, worship, longterm service, and college/singles Bible study (and he had to do the cooking for them since I was out of pocket). Ray drove to Grande Prairie on the 27th and met with immigration, had an appointment with the dermatologist and then ate at Boston Pizza while trying to watch the Texas Rangers in the World Series. I was trying to do the same thing in Edmonton during a 4 hour layover. My airplane got to GP at 10:30pm and I was sure glad to see my man waiting for me. (12 hours in the airplane or airport is tough)

Saturday we planned our day around the TX Rangers game with SF. That was a great win and we hollered for all of Arlington to hear us.

We had a parent dedication service yesterday that I had not adequately prepared for prior to leaving for California - so I hit the ground running. Sunday was another full day except that Cindy & Stan drove Ray to GP to fly to Calgary for a National Leadership Board meeting in Cochrane where he will be until Wednesday. Several ladies worked at church all afternoon preparing for a pizza/pool party for all our church kids and their friends for halloween. It was an Hawaiian theme and they made Hawaiian pizza and the decorations were all from our VBS in 08. I slipped out early and headed home to watch our Rangers and see if they could get another WIN.....they didn't!!

Now it is Monday and I have been to my water aerobics class, done banking, picked up some groceries and will work on a plan to keep 16 children busy while their moms are in Bible study on Wednesday morning.... you might just pray for our group and me on Wednesday mornings... please and thank you.

I will head down to GP on Wednesday to pick up Ray and hopefully we will be home for a while. The church was awesome and gave us monies to attend the Pastor/wife retreat in SK but it started the 5th and we would have been out another Sunday. We will try to do the one that will be offered in January. We do like to get away together - just seems like the last while we have gotten away separately.

It is so hard to believe it is November and we do not have snow covering the Peace Country. I am definitely not complaining~in fact the sun is shining and the sky is blue (it was very gray and raining this am). Speaking of November I want to wish blessings to the following:

Andrew James Davenport - on the 8th he will be a teenager

Sharon Dockery Shannon - on the 9th she will be kicking up her heels (hopefully)

David Allen Davenport & Joni James Davenport will celebrate their wedding anniversary on the 23rd

Happy Thanksgiving to all you folks in the US on the 25th. Eat some turkey for us.

Ray will be going to Edmonton for a procedure by a dermatologist in December and Ray will need to decide on a course of action for other skin cancers - so please be praying with us about all those decisions.

I have a ladies ministry meeting tonight at 7:00pm and a committee meeting prior to that (right during game time - what's a fan to do??) I still remember wearing a headset during choir practiced at LABC (poor Larry)... he would just ask what the score to the Stars game was and then share it with the rest of the choir!


Take My Life and Let It Be / I Am Yours (Michael Neale)

Take my life and let it be

Consecrated Lord to Thee

Take my moments and my days

Let them flow in ceaseless praise

Let them flow in ceaseless praise

Take my hands and let them move

At the impulse of Thy love

Take my feet and let them be

Swift and beautiful for Thee

Swift and beautiful for Thee

I am Yours set apart for You

I am Yours hungry for Your truth

Take my life You are all I live for

I am Yours

Take my voice and let me sing

Always only for my King

Take my lips and let them be

Filled with messages from Thee

Filled with messages from Thee

Take my will and make it Thine

It shall be no longer mine

Take my heart it is Thine own

It shall be Thy royal throne

It shall be Thy royal throne

Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. NLT Eph 3:20

Monday, September 27, 2010

Perfect time of the year

The temperature has been just perfect. Not too cold, not too hot, just right (like the three bears story). Ray and I took another trip to Stony and caught some more fish and the trees were beautiful but in downloading the pictures - well, they didn't and I deleted them before I knew they were not downloaded... Matt would get me for that! There was one picture that I took of the yellow trees, sun shining on them and reflecting into the water... so nice - now lost forever. One picture was of an owl just at dusk and his eyes were shining...so cool... it's gone too. It was a beautiful time and Ray and I have good memories (as long as we can remember!!)

We started college Bible study up on the 12th and it was nice to have new kids from GPRC (Grand Prairie Regional College - used to be NAIT). We are using the H2O series and Kyle just does a great job of relating the gospel.

Ray took a trip to Edmonton for the Executive Board Meeting on the 17th. He and Dick Hale traveled together which makes the time more enjoyable. But it sure makes for a long day 6 hours down and 6 hours back.

Terry & Darlene (Ray's brother and his wife) celebrated an anniversary on the 13th, Julie Shannon (Ray's niece) had a birthday on the 16th, my brother David Davenport had his birthday on the 17th, nephew David Wayne Smith had a birthday on the 20th and Bailey Davis (my niece Susie's son) had his birthday on the 26th. It helps me to stay focused on all those folks I love when I mention them in our blog.

Ray and I put down another floor in a bathroom at church. We did that on Monday the 20th and then the next two days I painted at church. It is hard to tell from my "paint clothes" what their original color was - sooooo much paint of EVERY color. Things are looking better. The kitchen cabinets got their new hardward - Carmen & Christine did a great job of restaining and updating our kitchen. Thanks girls (ladies).

Heather (daughter-in-law) has inspired me to get off the couch more so I started the "couch to 5k exercise regimen. Now two friends from church, Cindy & Carole have invited me to join them for water aerobics on MWF. Today was my first water ADVENTURE. I am going to be in good shape/health OR be dead!! All of us silver hairs were hitting the water this morning. OK, it was fun - and I am sad to say the first time I have been in that pool ever - and we have lived here over 4 years. Stay tuned for the new and IMPROVED Hope.

Last Saturday, the 25th, we had our ladies fall retreat. The committee did an excellent job of planning and putting it all together. What fun games, skits, singing, and the speaker was excellent - Tanis Harms from Sexsmith. The theme was From Flip Flops to High Heels and everything revolved around shoes... fun day, good food and a challenge to see what shoes God was wanting us to fill right now. {Pictured above is a centerpiece from the retreat and two of the committee members - Mona Wilson and Carmen Enns). We also learned about an initiative called Samaritans Shoes (it has been founded for 26 years but is not related to Samaritans Purse). It is about providing shoes to children who have never known what it is like to wear shoes. It is a very worthwhile campaign. http://www.samaritansfeet.org/ You can check it out.

Ray is still teaching the youth in Sunday school and then preaching. Pray with us about someone stepping up to the plate to love the youth and teach them God's Word and how it relates to their lives. My class is still full of girls - I usually have one boy and 9 or 10 girls (from 2 to 4 years old). We actually worked with sand yesterday as we had the story of Philip and the Ethopian. Thanks to Pauline Friesen for coming and helping or no telling where that sand would be!

I think all the grandboys are doing well except for Cole losing his glasses (which he found after he got a new pair). I feel sure he inherited that "gift" from his Papa. Sorry Cole. Jake got to attend college night where over 150 colleges/universities had representatives available for students to help select a suitable school of higher learning. It is always an exciting time but scary just the same. We will definitely pray him through the next couple of years.

It is fun to go onto facebook and see my brother's boys and all the sports they are into - I love seeing their pictures. Connor is getting married and we would love to meet and get to know Christina. He graduated from college this year and will take the next big step in life next year.

I am actually going to California in October to visit my longtime friend, Nancy Peterson. It will be a catch up time for us as I have not seen her since January of 09 when we went to Maui, HI to surprise her for a 40th wedding anniversary party with renewal of vows. Thank you to sweet, sweet Ed for that trip and this trip in October. Ray and I will drive to Calgary on the 14th or 15th of October for the Midwest Baptist Association Annual Meeting. I will fly out from there on the 17th and then come back into Grande Prairie on the 27th. I am really getting excited. I think Nancy has a lot planned for me to do. She is always thinking of "the other person".

Ray and I are working on extending our visa for a time. Not at all sure what God's plans are for us ...but He will let us know. He always has and He is faithful to His character - so let us hear from YOU, God.

While I am writing I thought I would go ahead and put in my song for the month. One of my favorite singers is Travis Cottrell. He and his group sing at Beth Moore conferences and he writes a lot of his songs. He has a song called "My Passion" and the words follow:

You alone are my passion forever
Song of my soul
Desire of my heart
You alone are my passion
My treasure
I love You for all that You are

To the ends of the earth I will follow
There's nothing that I will not do
You alone are my reason for living
Jesus my passion is You
Jesus my passion is You

My life my love my God
My life my love my God

O Jesus You are my passion
My passion
My passion

(it is off of a CD of his entitled Alive Forever from Hosanna music)
Hope you can find it and listen to it on the net.
I pray that if GOD is not your passion that you will start right now to give Him that place of honor in your life. Lovingly, Hope

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Where is 2010 going?

It is so very hard to imagine that it is September of 2010. It has been almost a month since I wrote on our blog and it is just hard to keep up with all the goings on at Cornerstone and in Fairview.

David & Bev Hudson have been visiting our church and invited us out to their farm on August 18th. David used to be a contractor and built the coolest greenhouses for Bev to grow tomatoes and cucumbers. Her garden was beautiful. I want to be like Bev when I grow up (like that's going to happen). She fixed us a yummy meal and we enjoyed seeing their place and finding out about their family. Their dog "Nana" was the coolest.
On the 20th we were invited to have dinner with another family that has been visiting our church. Matt & Allison Clarke (Will, Emma, Danea, Sadie & Ella). What a fun family - a big thank you to both of these families for the wonderful fellowship and food.
The 21st we had the privilege of having the new Nehemiah professor and his wife from the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary in Cochrane as house guests. And to think they only lived about a mile from us in Arlington!! Our world really is small. Dan Morgan and his wife Melanie left four grown children in the US to come serve in Canada. Dan preached for us on Sunday morning the 22nd and then we went to Worsley with them on Sunday night for him to share with their church.

The week of the 23rd seemed like it was full of visits from church folks off and on throughout the days and then on Wednesday we drove back to Worsley to attend the funeral of Mel Lubeck's grandmother.
On Saturday we had a work day at church and I ended up in the men's bathroom for about 7 hours painting.... boy does it look good (even if I do say so myself). There was a lot of work going on and we had planned to baptize two folks in the Peace River that afternoon but it was a cold and rainy day so we opted to just have a corn roast and beef on a bun (Thank you Ron & Pauline Friesen for the great food). This was a nice reward for a day of hard work.

We headed to Stoney Lake on the evening of the 29th with Curt & Patty Hale - he had a new fishing method that an old German had taught him.... boy did we catch the trout! (Ray and I even went back on the 3rd and enjoyed an evening of fishing with just the two of us - sorta like a date?) The pictures above are from our trip. My fish is a rainbow trout and Ray's is a brook trout.

We began our new Sunday School year on the 5th and Ray ended up teaching youth. We need a youth teach and preschool teacher. Please pray with us about these needs. We did get to baptize our two on the 5th and it turns out the water was probably as cold as it was in The Peace River. The heater decided to not work!! Hester & Sam were great sports and carried it off with dignity. Ray wears his waders and was no worse for the wear.

On Monday (Labor Day) Ray and I played in the Fairview Ministerial Golf Tournament. It was another cold day and 18 holes never seemed so long. Zenon (one of our music team leaders) and Matt, a young man who has visited our church, played on our team. We finished at -5.

We took the day to go to Grande Prairie today (I looked like a shaggy dog and needed a hair cut). We visited some folks at the hospital and made several stops for various things for church and home. It was a very rainy day. It is supposed to be 2C in the am and we are definitely not ready for this. I am planning to go paint another bathroom tomorrow. I have two down and six to go!!
My niece, Sarah Davis, was in a car wreck on the 29th and we are so very thankful that she was not injured any worse than she was. We are praying for a complete recovery for her.
My brother, David Davenport, is hunting in Wyoming and we are praying for he and his two friends to have a safe trip back to Pennsylvania.
As always remember Ray and I as we truly seek God's direction for each day and that we will honor Him in all things. Ray is preaching out of Ephesians and we will be looking at the armor that we need to put on each day. Ephesians 6:14-18 - Make sure you have your's on!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Day at the Farm (several days painting)

As a part of our women's ministry there was a "sign up" list for projects that needed to be done around our church. I signed up to paint and do new flooring in the worship center bathrooms! Ok I painted on Tuesday the 3rd and Wednesday the 4th and thought I was finished - but Ray and I had driven to Spirit River and found a great floor at a great price....so we imposed upon Jason Casselman (who works in Rycroft) to bring it home in his truck. Ray asked the folks on Sunday the 8th if anyone wanted to help him put the floor in.... no takers. On Monday the 9th when I got up there was no Ray around and I figured he was at church figuring out how to install the new floor.... I was sooooo right. He came in and asked if I wanted to help him.... so, the rest of Monday, most of Tuesday & Wednesday we worked in the ladies "washroom" and it looks awesome... even if I do say so myself. Now, I guess I will start on another one tomorrow.

Last Thursday we decided to go visit the Hale's (Curt & Patty) and see what it looked like to put up silage. Wow what a learning experience. Blue or Curt would drive the fields with a swather and then the "cutter" (SECOND PICTURE ABOVE) would follow that and the big trucks (THIRD PICTURE ABOVE) would run beside the cutter and would be filled up with the silage. They would then drive the rigs back to the farm where Patty would "pack" the silage with a large tractor (FOURTH PICTURE ABOVE). I rode with Patty and she was a pretty good "packer". All of this just to prepare food for all the cattle for winter. Every step was just for the cattle! Gotta love that beef..... The poor ladies have to also make sure all the helpers have lunch and supper.... ugh - I thought just keeping up with Ray was a chore! NOT...
Two of Curt & Patty's grown sons helped with the process... thanks Darcy & Robbie for all the sharing of facts....
Driving home from their farm we stopped to check on one of the members who had been to Edmonton for some medical tests. We found him out on the back of a machine that used to be pulled by horses but they had it rigged up to a tractor and were stacking wheat. What a sight to see. (FIRST PICTURE ABOVE)

We had a great day of worship today - Zenon and his troup did a great job with the praise time and Ray preached an awesome sermon from Ephesians (he is doing a series from the book on the power of God). We had scheduled a deacons meeting for right after church so I made up my chicken salad and put it on croissants and we had potato salad, veggie tray, chips and while the guys were in their meeting we made two freezers of ice cream.... yummy... we had one that was strawberry/banana and the other was vanilla. Florence brought two great pies (she is one of the BEST pie makers) a bumbleberry - which is 3 kinds of berries and a rhubarb. I feel like I waddled home.... so Ray and I took a bike ride and visited some folks. All in all a very good Lord's day. Hope you are as blessed as I am to live where I can worship the Almighty in freedom. Thank you Canada.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Clouds (reflection) scripture uses them to speak of God's


Ray is sitting by trees that have been

growing for a longgggg time.

Canadian Goose in lake at lodge.

One of the bald eagles we saw.

We have yet to determine what

the other mountain animal is... will let you know

when we make the discovery.

Hope wading - it was soooooo cold.

All was peaceful in Jasper, Alberta

What a refreshing time Ray and I enjoyed in Jasper, Alberta. On Tuesday the 27th we left Fairview and drove to Grande Prairie (enjoyed a Tim Horton's breakfast sandwich and coffee), Grande Cache and then into Jasper Nat'l Forest. Upon arrival we grabbed a Subway sandwich and were off to Maligne Canyon and Medicine Lake. Two of our favorite places! I will attach some pictures. We saw one of the biggest elk ever and it caused quite a traffic jam on Maligne Road. We stayed in town at the Whistler Inn and found a restaurant "La Fiesta" - YUMMY. Ray ate nachos (huge) and I had enchiladas. We know they will be in heaven. We slept in on Wednesday as we both crashed after two VBS's and everything else this summer. We ate a wonderful breakfast at the Inn and then headed to a 12:20 tee time at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. I rode and took pictures....lots and lots of pictures. Ray played with three members of the club and they were helpful on where to place a particular shot. Ray asked them about bears and they said one time they had to wait about an hour while a momma bear and two cubs played around one of the tee boxes. Imagine the site!
That evening we drove into town for a bite at Earls - Ray ate a hamburger (his favorite food) and I had soup, salad and pan bread (a speciality at Earls). Of course we ended up with ice cream every night after our meal. We walked the property at the Fairmont and found the bald eagle that I had taken pictures of earlier in the day. There are walking trails EVERYWHERE and we so enjoyed our evening.
The folks at the lodge said that this was the FIRST warm week they had this summer. One of the girls, Sarah from Ontario, said she works at the golf course three days a week and had been in winter overalls just the week before. I guess the weather is tricky in the Canadian Rockies.
On Thursday Ray played golf again but I opted to read, walk, sip cool drinks in the lodge and visit with the young folks that worked there. We ate at the lodge that evening and had the most elegant supper (and we were the only ones on the whole patio - most of the folks eat later). I had a watermelon, spinach, pineapple salad with raspberry vinaigrette - Ray ate a plain Caesar!! He ate a rib eye and I had the best pasta I have ever put in my mouth. We then headed to town to see INCEPTION - the movie everyone was talking about..... needless to say Ray and I both found it to be too far fetched. We drove around the lakes and just looked at all of God's beautiful creation for the rest of the evening and then topped it off with ice cream. There are little shops all over Jasper that sell ice cream...and when you see someone walk by licking a nice big waffle cone - you have to go get one (don't you?)
On Friday morning we checked out of the lodge and drove home (after stopping in at Bear's Paw bakery). We spent the time driving to and from Jasper working on church planning for the fall and making a lot of plans. It was a productive time as well as a relaxing time.
The clothes are all washed and put away and our church clothes are ironed for tomorrow, Ray's sermon is ready and my Sunday school lesson is ready. Now, we pray the Lord will come and make His presence known to the people who attend Cornerstone tomorrow. Shake it all up, Lord, and we will praise You.
We got a call from Matt a couple of hours ago and he was at the emergency room at Denton Regional Hospital thinking he was having an attack of appendicitis.... HE WAS RIGHT and is in surgery. So we are anxiously waiting to hear from Heather. Paul is driving up to Denton to check on his little brother. We are praying that all will be taken care of and he will return to good health quickly. It is hard to live far away when things like this are going on... Psalm 136 speaks to God's love enduring forever and He has certainly been with us... May HE be glorified in our family. HOPE

Monday, July 26, 2010


In the movie "Fireproof" there was a song that touched my heart. It is "While I'm Waiting" (by John Waller) .... it seems that the Lord has us wait a lot.... look in His word and see how many times the word WAIT appears! It might surprise you. Anyway, I find myself waiting.... so enjoy the words and even look it up online and listen to it... I pray it will bless your heart too.... Hope

I'm waiting I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait I will move ahead, bold and confident Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting I will serve You While I'm waiting
I will worship While I'm waiting I will not faint I'll be running the race Even while I wait
I'm waiting I'm waiting on You, Lord And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord Though it's not easy But faithfully, I will wait Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Who Am I?

What a great two weeks. Looking at it from the other side I remember being so "afraid".... so much to do, how will it all work. My last post showed the beginning of our Vacation Bible School in Hines Creek. The 4 day school (which was designed around the team that was SUPPOSED to come from Texas) and then the kids singing for the parents and our picnic on Friday had an enrollment of 51. What a great group of kids. We were very well received and will hopefully be able to do that next year as well. The site was so perfect and the caretakers of the museum were so helpful to work with throughout the week. The theme/Bible content for this year and the music were some of the best that Lifeway has had in a few years.
The school was over on the 16th and on the 17th our team of 13 from Georgia arrived in Fairview. We had 10 returning folks and 3 new ones from Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church in Carrollton, GA. This was their 3rd year to join us and they have seen our kids grow in their faith. We added "Missions" back into our rotation this year and that was a huge blessing (Thanks Angie & Becky for taking the lead). We had 233 enrolled with an average attendance of 198. Our youngest worker was 12 and our oldest was 76.... you are never too young or too old for God to use your gifts and talents. REMEMBER THAT! I am 63 and on Wednesday there were 32 four year olds (picture) in our room. Thanks to Sandra, Brittany, Alex (visiting from Mexico) and my neighbor who will be an 8th grader, Brittany. Tuesday was CRAZY HAIR day (picture) and the kids got totally into it.

The Georgia folks came to our home for lunch everyday but each evening they were hosted by a church family for a meal that caused me to gain several pounds this week. Great job! Ron & Pauline Friesen, Mel & Lisa Lubeck, Zenon & Mona Wilson and Hennie & Hester Boshoff. For lunch on Wednesday Carmen Enns & Christine Parker brought us soups - yummy. They also enjoyed some 5 pin bowling and decided that 10 pin was easier!

We got to take advantage of our new deck (thanks Nathan Wegreen and all who helped him) and used it for the 5th-6th grade classroom. We thank Dan Dockery for his suggestion that we add some additional space between buildings. The two easy ups (gifts from Carrollton Baptist Association and Pleasant Ridge BC two years ago) allowed protection from the sun but unfortunately no rain. Our 'peace country' is the dryest it has been in years and we need prayers for all our farmers as they will suffer financially from this drought.
Friday was a hard day for Ray as he learned that a good friend had died from cancer. We will miss Randy Pittman and our prayers go out to Teri, Daniel & Trisha.

Ray preached the most awesome sermon this morning. He used the whole Bible School week for our folks. Who Am I? Does God Care About Me? What Is God's Plan For Me? How Can I Be Like Jesus? What Do I Do Now?
Things to remember -
Spiritual questions need spiritual answers.
Christianity is more than a 'hope so' life.
Christianity is a 'doing life'.
Things to ask -
Does my life line up with the life of Christ?
Is my hope in this world or in the life of Christ?
Have I truly received Him as my personal Lord?
He actually had a visitor (who is a catholic) say - "I wish it was as easy as you say pastor"
Pray for this one to find Jesus.... it is as easy as Ray said!!

Ray and I are taking a little road trip to Jasper. We will go to Maligne Canyon (look it up on the internet - it is so beautiful) and golf a couple of days. Ray had promised if I was still standing after the two weeks of VBS's that this would be a time of refreshing.... before new Sunday School year and all. He is a man of his word... I will send you some wonderful pictures of God's beautiful world when we return. To Him be the glory - great things He has done!!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Can I just tell you how great our God is? What an awesome first day at mission vacation Bible school. I had 12 4 year old-Kindergarten children (9 boys and 3 girls).... God just keeps giving me boys!! I did manage to get a picture of the three girls sitting together, Mansi, Amie & Becca. Precious. I had two wonderful youth helpers that I am praising God for.... Ashton & Skylar - THANK YOU GIRLS.... The setting for our VBS in Hines Creek is so perfect for the Saddle Ridge Ranch theme. We are in the town's museum of old buildings and churches... notice the logs that the OLD SCHOOL HOUSE is made out of in my classroom.

It was snack time and rather than be outside where we were freezing.... we ate in our room. On Sunday we went up to set up our rooms and those old windows DO NOT OPEN so I was burning up.... I determined to be cool on Monday and BOY was I!! I have actually had the heat on in our house today... in JULY... can you imagine? I was so cold when I got home that I put on jeans, jacket and socks. Ray (poor thing) is out in this weather playing in his Monday night golf league... the wind is gusting to about 60 km.

Our verse today was from Psalms 139:14 "I am wonderfully made".... these are the cutest kids. I had two sets of twin boys.... lucky me...and they are all wonderfully made!

I will keep you posted and thanks for all the prayers. Thankful, Hope

Sunday, July 11, 2010

CNBC Toronto, Ontario July 5-8, 2010

CNBC Canadian National Baptist Convention - what an awesome group of people! Ray and I flew out of Grande Prairie, Alberta on Monday morning July 5th. We traveled through Calgary and then on to Toronto. Phil Brown, one of the local pastors, was kind enough to have one of his fellow workers, Don, pick us up from the airport (boy am I thankful for that). The GTA - Greater Toronto Area has over 6 million people. Our first night we enjoyed a Taste of the World with foods from a lot of countries. We then had the privilege of hearing from our Executive Director, Gerry Taillon. We had the opportunity to hear great Cuban music and worship. It was a good but long day.
On Tuesday Phil was our tour guide as we got to experience Niagra Falls...God is just an awesome creator. It was very hot and humid but the sights and the fact that we had a LOCAL driving us around was beyond words. We drove down Niagra Falls Way and went into the town of Niagra on the Falls. What beautiful homes, gardens and vinyards. We returned to Missisauga to where our hotel was located and got a ride into the Portico church for our evening worship time with Tom Elliff and another great group from Sanctuary Church in Milton. (www.jasonmcgibbonproject.com) "Where You Lead" is an awesome song.
Wednesday morning was our business session and my sweet hubby was elected 2nd Vice President of the CNBC. What an honor to be so well thought of by your peers. The different agencies presented reports and they blessed us. The session lasted until 12:30 and then there was a pastor's wives luncheon and sharing time. We had a short break and then back for the evening session. We heard from our president, Rick Lamothe, and another great word from Tom Elliff. There was a season of altar calls from both men and a very reflective and humbling time. The music was provided by Sequoia church with a lead singer, drummer (several kinds of drums) and a guitarist (several kinds of stringed instruments). I would take any of them home with me!
Thursday morning was filled with Equip Sessions and Ray and I went to two each. Our "Flags of Nations" was during the evening service. As the youth marched in with the flags of all of our Provinces and countries where we have missionaries (including black flags for where we have folks serving in countries closed to the Gospel). We heard God stories from several folks, some IMB folks who are back home from India, a MSC family from Texas now serving in Canada. It was gut wrenching to hear how much people pour themselves out for service to the Lord. Tom Elliff topped the night off with another word from God.
Friday morning found us catching a shuttle to the airport at 6:15am (that is 4:15am our time). We were a little late getting off the ground in Toronto and so we missed our connecting flight in Edmonton....it was a nice treat to have lunch at Montana's while we waited for the next flight to Grande Prairie. Once we arrived in GP we had some last minute shopping to do for VBS.....
Now, I think a lot of you are aware that we had a church in Texas say they would be here the week of the 12th-15th and wanted to "do something". I had wanted to do a mission VBS in the town of Hines Creek (about 20 minutes north of us) and so we turned them loose to plan and present this school. All was fine until we were driving home from holidays in the US and got an email that they would not be able to come at all. We felt that the children should not be disappointed and we would find a way with God's help to do two schools. Thanks so much to our folks who did step up to the plate and will be doing TWO VBS's. Actually it is so cool! We have rented the Museum in Hines Creek and it looks exactly like an old western town! We have around 30 kids enrolled and will hit the ground in the morning. SO PLEASE PRAY FOR US THIS WEEK. We are working with a skeleton crew but with God leading the way - to Him be the glory.... love you all and will keep you posted......

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Song of the Month

I have decided that I want to post a song each month on our blog. Music speaks to my heart maybe more so than any other medium. As I listed to this particular song on Robin Marks "Revival in Belfast" CD it ministered to me and where I am at this moment of my life..... I pray that it will minister to you as well. Listen to it on his website! H O P E

Jesus, All For Jesus lyrics
Robin Mark

Jesus, all for Jesus,
All I am and have and ever hope to be.
Jesus, all for Jesus,
All I am and have and ever hope to be.
All of my ambitions, hopes and plans I surrender these into Your hands.
All of my ambitions, hopes and plans I surrender these into Your hands.
For it's only in Your will that I am free,
For it's only in Your will that I am free,
Jesus, all for Jesus,
All I am and have and ever hope to be.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Beach pictures

Hope & Ray Paul, Luke, Laura, Caleb, Jake (back)
Doyle & Marylyn Sarah & Bailey
Luke, Peyton, Cole, Jacob & Caleb
Hope & Ray (back)



Our house has room for parking four cars underneath the house and then you climb up to the next level that has 3 BR and 2-1/2 Baths. Then you climb up another flight of stairs to where the kitchen, LR and another bedroom/bath are located. It has a large deck (part covered and part sunny) and a small porch with a grill. We have surely gotten our exercise these two weeks. If you go up another flight of stairs there is another large deck (not covered and HOT)but good for our sun bathers. The boardwalk to the beach is right by the house and Paul set up his easy up at the beach and we just take the top off at night in case of storms. The weather has been perfect with only a small afternoon thunderstorm today.

Many of us are avid shell collectors and there has been buckets and bags full of shells. There was a large board for surf sailing here at the house and the older kids put it to good use.

We were quite anxious about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that was reported to be headed to Pensacola Beach.... the first morning we saw a few TAR BALLS and then one other day there were some minor sightings.... but God has blessed us with beautiful weather, sand, water and family fellowship.

On Friday the 11th Ray and I drove toward Texas and met Matt and Heather in Louisiana and picked up Cole - 10 and Peyton - 7 (until July 3rd) and brought the two smallest boys back with us for a time at the beach. Boys, boys, boys..... we went to see How to Train Your Dragon and it was so cute...LOVED IT. Hiccup was just like our JACOB....

We have eaten and eaten and eaten and believe me boys can eat. We have probably consumed several grains of sand with our food too.

Carrie Hope Shannon Hodges gave birth to her first child (a boy don't you know) while we were here... Carter Brian was born June 13th at 5:00am weighing in at 7lbs10oz and 21" long. We are so excited for them...

We are still waiting on word from Robbie & Renae Hale about their expected arrival.

Canada seems sooooo far away from the white sand of the emerald coast but on Friday we will drive back to Texas and visit with Matt and Heather a couple of days and then catch up with friends in Arlington. I will be picking up some items for VBS and then focus will change from holiday/vacation to getting to work. See you later........ Remember - we serve an awesome God.

PENSACOLA BEACH June 5-19, 2010

We have looked so forward to seeing our families and spending time at the beach. After a snowy drive to Edmonton for Dennis Rempel's wedding on May 22... we were closer than ever to our departure time. Ray included a trip to British Columbia for the National Leadership Board meeting May 30 - June 2 just prior to our drive to Calgary on the 3rd. Thank you to Wilson & Mary Win Nelson for the lodging and EARLY morning drive to the airport on the 4th. Thank you to Max Graber for the ride from the DFW airport and use of your car as we picked up our oldest grandson (Jacob 16) and headed to Florida. We drove as far as Lafayette, LA where we spent the night of the 4th. My sister, Marylyn and her husband, Doyle, and two of their grandchildren (Sarah - who will be 18 on the 23rd) and Bailey - who is 14) were driving down from Tennessee and our son, Paul and his wife, Laura and their boys Caleb - 14 and Luke - 12 were driving from Arlington, Texas on the 5th. We received a text message on Saturday morning that Luke was throwing up in the car on their drive.... I told Ray I was sure glad that we had brought Jake and not Luke when I heard Jacob throwing up in our hotel room.... the virus claimed Laura by the end of the day and on Sunday Ray had it also. Caleb started the whole mess the Wednesday before. I am so thankful that Paul and I and my sister's crew avoided catching the bug.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May 4th and it is snowing...

We have had the mildest winter. A warmer than usual February and March. April had the snow all gone and the golf course even open. Last night we had our monthly ladies ministry meeting and Ray was playing golf in his golf league...the wind was so cold when we came out of our meeting that I was wondering what was up.... snow. It is very cold and windy today and I need to put some socks on my feet as they are freezing!

Since our Luke visited us we have been quite busy. This week is a bit of a blur since our little Roger passed away early Saturday morning. He was diagnosed with his brain tumor on October 10th and died on his dad's birthday, May 1st. Roger was 10 years old. Ray will have his service at church on Thursday and there will be a memorial service at the school on Friday. Our ladies are busy preparing for the lunch for the people who attend the service.

Ray had his 65th birthday on Sunday and we had TWO lovely meals out with friends with a service at the longterm care in between. I am always telling Ray to "GET OVER IT" if he complains about anything....so I found a card that had a little cowboy sitting on the floor crying and all the card said was GET OVER IT. I could not pass that up!

We are having our first "Girls to Grandmas Tea" this coming Saturday so it has proven to be a very full week. We hope to honor women of all ages whether they are moms or not. I will keep you posted on how it turns out.

Ray heard from his brother Terry for his birthday and we will be great aunties or uncles again with Tyler and Amy. Carrie is expecting her and Mike's baby this month. All so very exciting!

Patty Ford had a new grandson, Grant Wesley who arrived 3 weeks early on April 30th.... congrats to Jared & Kelley.

We are so excited about Max's new job - I hope his new company realizes what an awesome man they have hired! God is such a great provider - in every way.

Talked to sister this am and we are getting a little concerned about the OIL SPILL in the gulf as it is a month from tomorrow that we are due to check into a beach house in Pensacola Beach. We just want warm weather and sand for our toes and visiting with family. I don't think I would like a black beach (unless it is the one on Maui or the Big Island). That spill is such a mess and then you have all the earthquakes and other STUFF going on all over the world - is God trying to let us know it is time for Him to return? Even so, come Lord Jesus.

Ray is at prayer time with some of the area pastors. They meet on Tuesday mornings and it has been an encouraging time for Ray. The house is quiet when he is here since he studies so much of the time and of course when he is gone it is really quiet. I have to talk to myself. Ray is trying to get me to not talk so much and God has agreed with him that it would be a very good idea to listen more. I will definitely work on that.... you can pray with me about God using my ears to minister.

We filled out papers and looked at permanent residency but after learning the cost we felt it would be better to just go to the border and get extensions and much cheaper. Even after you are granted permanent residency you still have to apply for new cards ever so often. Paperwork is not fun you know. We had to list every place we had worked since we were 18... now that was a challenge for me - Ray did not have it too hard. We also had to list every place we lived from the time we were 18. Just a lot of information that somehow is hazy in my memory...now, I can remember every word of "Run Around Sue"... go figure.

On April 23rd four of us ladies from church went to Edmonton (I drove the whole way down and back!) for a Vacation Bible School clinic. Another lady met us there since she was in Edmonton with her husband. Two of us led sessions at the clinic. We went down on a Friday morning very early so we could shop on Friday and then the clinic was on Saturday from 8:00-1:30. Ray asked me why we were going so early - I said duh we are going to shop in the city. Ladies, food, shopping, talking and of course singing.... that is how I knew I could remember the songs! Frank Ford had put some oldies on CD for our drive to Canada back in 2006 so we pulled those out and it is amazing what the brain can remember.... we may forget all the important stuff but we can sing oldies!!

We got the word yesterday that we have 14 of the best folks in the state of Georgia coming to help with our VBS. We will have several that are returning guests but also some new faces. We are so very thankful for these dear ones who take time away from families, raise their own money, and travel to a foreign place to minister to kids for a week. GOD BLESS Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church. Thank you to Ricky for leading the group this year. Pray for pastor Danny as he holds the fort down while all of them are away. Pray for VBS July 19-23 and for our director, Lora Casselman.

The end of March Ray spoke at a youth retreat in Worsley on Saturday and then Cesar Parra who led the youth came to our house for a "Action 52" event on Sunday. It was from 3-6 and we had almost 100 folks attend. He presented information about the Evangecube and how to share your faith 52 weeks of the year using seeds as reminders. We had several churches that participated and it has been fun to see the ways folks are sharing their faith. I was in charge of the childcare so the folks could participate. We had 4 classes of kids and I want to thank Priscilla Hale, Jennifer Hammerschmidt, Ember Selnes and Tristin Kaiser for giving up their Sunday afternoon. I was in the room with 3 babies and two of my special girls from Sunday School (Dallas & Taya). They proved to be a big help to me with the babies.

Paul & Laura both had birthdays in April and Matt & Heather had their anniversary. I sure miss being in town for their special events. JONI (my sister-in-law in Pennsylvania) will have her birthday on the 20th and it would be fun to surprise her with a visit too.

I hope everyone knows that Ray and I are here in Fairview because God gave us the word to be here. It is our prayer that HE will use us to help many come to a faith in the one true God and we will enjoy eternity with them. We would also like to help them grow in their faith and see God use them in this community. Let us not grow weary in well doing...... Hope

For Sunday May 9th - Happy Mother's Day to all you who have been blessed to be a Mom. What a privilege and responsibility to shape a life! Let God lead you with this undertaking.

Pictures above of our relaxing day with Mel & Lisa Lubeck on their land and the wonderful Trumpeter Swans.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pictures from Luke's Visit

Olympic rings in ice on Lake Louise (top picture)
Left - Luke at sign for Banff Hot Springs
3rd - Luke & Papa at Bow Falls below Banff Springs Hotel
4th - Luke & Nanny at Bow Falls
5th Right - Luke in wheel of Columbia Ice Field Bus
6th Left - Luke at one of entrances to Banff

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Let It Snow

OK - so February was warm - March has been too - until Saturday (20th) and it turned cooler and then Monday it started to snow and has been snowing ever since. Now Luke has come and gone and there was hardly any snow here for him....but come back Luke - you could snowboard for sure.
It has been a busy March with three trips to Calgary. The 28th of February (Happy 14th birthday CALEB) Ray and I drove to Cochrane (Canadian National Baptist Convention) and were a part of 3 days of FOCUS meetings. We met with our SHARE group twice and had a full day of Coaching 101. When I grow up I want to be able to coach....I have so much to learn!
We drove home on Thursday the 4th and on the 5th Aaron & Alicia and little Titus arrived from Cochrane to stay with us until Monday. Aaron preached for us as part of SEMINARY DAY. It was different having a baby in the house.
JAKE turned 16 on the 6th and we looked at video of when he was little...where does the time go?
We drove back to Calgary on the 11th to pick up Luke at the airport. I was so glad to see him walk out to us! I thought we would go to the gate to meet him but was I wrong....they had extra security in place because of the Olympics and no one got through security that was not flying. The people at American Airlines were very helpful and walked us through the whole process. We spent the night at the Missions House at the Convention office as he did not come in until almost 10:00pm. The next morning we traveled to Canmore for breakfast and then on to Banff where we rode the Gondola up Sulphur Mt. and then Luke & Papa got in the Hot Springs. Since I was at the end of antibiotics for a viral and bacterial infection Ray did not think I should indulge. I sat in the car and read a book while the boys played. We then drove to Lake Louise where they had an actual ICE castle on the lake along with the olympic rings carved in ice. We took pictures - it was snowing very hard. We started our drive toward Jasper at the other end of the Icefields Parkway where we planned to spend the night...after driving for about 30 or more minutes Ray said he did not feel it safe to continue and we very carefully turned around and headed back through the Banff National Park, back to Cochrane and on to Fairview - where we arrived at a little after 1:30am! Luke had a LONG first day in Canada.
On Saturday the 13th we went ice fishing - the ice was about 2-1/2 feet thick (love that power auger). We had gotten Luke a Skidoo (for sledding) at Costco when we found out he was coming and he used it to slid down several hills at Figure Eight Lake. We went 5 pin bowling that evening. (It will keep you active having a 12 year old in the house)
Luke helped me in my Sunday School class on Sunday where he entertained 9 little girls and 1 little boy. After lunch he and Papa watched some curling and basketball until the college/singles arrived for Bible study that evening. After feeding the kids Luke and I went downstairs and watching curling until Ray finished the study time with the kids. Then Luke put on his snow goggles so he could hide his eyes while he and the group played BLUFF.

Monday we had a busy day of ice fishing at Cummings Lake, riding quads at Mr. Mel's and Miss Lisa's house and Luke and Papa having a bowling rematch. Tuesday we drove back to Cochrane where we spent the night....Luke found a basketball and shot some hoops. He could not believe the way the Rockies were just out there to look at from the Mission House. His flight went back to TX on Wednesday at 2:30 and we needed to be there by 1:00....so we went on into Calgary and Luke got a tour of the Olympic site from the 1988 venue. He is an Oakley guy and had fun looking at the STUFF in the gift shop. When we got to the airport and said our good byes .... we waited, and waited, and waited. We did not and could not leave until his airplane took off. There was some kind of mechanical issue that the mechanic HAD TO sign off on before they would let his plane leave. Once he was safely in the air we again got in that faithful car and headed back north....but lonely for our Luke.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TERRY SHANNON on the 20th of March.....
On the 21st of March we had our Sunday School, church and college/singles Bible study. The kids had a mad game of Sequence and another group was working on a 1500 piece puzzle... no, they did not stay to see it finished! I am still working on it.
We had the opportunity last night to help out our friends Zenon and Mona - Mona leads the Tuesday night Bible study and Zenon was working late so we headed over to eat some yummy vegetable beef soup and watch her three munchkins... now Amber who is two decided she liked Pastor Ray...it was the cutest thing. Poor Zenon did not get home until 10:00 and looked much too old to be so young... long day for sure for him.
I am off to sell daffodils for the Cancer Society at the local IGA store.... so I will put on my snow boots and plunge into the white stuff knowing all the time that God is in control of our lives and our circumstances...what security He offers us who trust in him.

Ray has a busy weekend ahead with a youth retreat in Worsley to speak at and the Action 52 (Evangelistic training) being held at our church this Sunday. We have 5 churches that will participate in the class and I will be responsible for child care - so please pray for Ray and his time with the youth and the right folks to fill in some gaps with the little ones..... thanks for holding up our arms (Exodus 17:12) Hope Pictures coming later.....

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Warm February

Wooden Puzzle (top left)
Snowboarder on chair lift (rail not down)

Worsley chair lift (third right)

Hope turns 63 (4th right)

Delimber in the bush (bottom left)

It sure has not seemed like February in Northern Alberta! It has stayed pretty consistently at -5C to 0C. As I was watching the Olympics (I am hooked on Curling) last night after the college/singles had left (oh, by the way sorry to all our Canadian friends about beating your boys in hockey) and noticed that it is supposed to be above freezing for the rest of this week!! Just can't imagine that. There were 17 of us last night as we kicked off a new session of Sunday night Bible study. We are using the H2O material which we think is excellent. We even had a young man from BRAZIL who is up here working at the Worsley Ski Hill. (Ray and I took a trip to the ski hill about a week ago and were very impressed with the wonderful provisions for the skiers in the small town of Worsley - see picturesand check out your maps about the location and size of this town.) I cannot fathom how you go from an island off the coast of southern Brazil to living/working in Worsley, Alberta, Canada. It is just too much to comprehend. Check it out on your atlas! We had two new guys that attend GPRC that had visited church yesterday and we quickly invited them to our study time. Dale and Jayden are great additions.
We had a very good worship time yesterday even with the worship leader (Zenon) having a lot of congestion with a bad cold. We had almost 130 folks with us as Ray preached his third sermon in the Malachi series which was out of the 3rd chapter and was on stewardship of our life. We had an annual meeting after worship time to keep in alignment with our constitution and by-laws.

We kicked off the two ladies Bible studies this week with Mona leading the Tuesday night group (Me, Myself & Lies by Jennifer Rothschild) and me leading the Wednesday daytime group (Pursuing More of Jesus by Anne Graham Lotz). The men are a little over half way through their "Fathered By God" series. They have had up to 22 men in their Wednesday night study.
Ray had an opportunity to ride to "the bush" with Lawrence Smithson on Wednesday during the day to see what all goes on in the local logging industry. I will attach a picture that he took on his trip.

We made two trips to Grande Prairie last week to be with folks who were having surgery and tomorrow we will again head south to be with another one. They have done away with clergy parking and it is quite the HIKE to visit someone who is having surgery. Not too bad when it is warmer weather.

This next Sunday we will leave for Cochrane and a 3 day "Coaching Clinic". Since Ray is attending they asked me to come along and participate as well. It is a very Biblical concept and I am enjoying reading the book.

Guess what I did? Cindy said she would teach us to make a rag quilt...so I signed up. She said, "Do you have a sewing machine"? I said "NO". She said, "Do you know how to sew"? I said, "NO". She was just looking at me and said, "Why did you sign up for this class"? I told her it did not say anything about sewing - just if you wanted to learn to make a rag quilt. I bought all my materials and was ready to learn. Cindy was a trooper. She rounded up a sewing machine for me and we spent one evening cutting out all the squares. Then on Friday from 11:00am to around 8:00pm I sewed the pieces together that I had cut out. (one of the ladies commented on the fact that it did not make much sense to cut them and then put them back together). Now I am in the process of cutting again to make the fringe on the back of the quilt. I will try to send you a picture. They say you better not wash and dry it in your machine because of all the flannel strings that will clog your washing machine. So I still have more work to do before it is a finished product!

Matt & Heather sent us a wooden jigsaw puzzle and it was quite the little challenge to fit all the theme related pieces into the Mississippi plantation home. The hanging moss and the beautiful home sitting by the river was a remembrance of places we have seen in our time in the south.
Thank you for the winter diversion.

During this month I celebrated my 63rd birthday! I just cannot imagine being 63 - but guess what - that does not change the fact. Several of the ladies at church had a surprise TEA party which was quite nice and of course there was a lot of good food. Thank you Hester for hosting and thanks to Shelley for the beautiful birthday cake which she made just for me.
The Super Bowl seems like a lifetime ago but maybe that is because it was not my favorite outcome. I know my sister-in-law, Joni, was very excited to see HER Saints standing victorious.
We have been working to secure airline tickets and lodging for a vacation/holiday in June to Pensacola Beach. Toes in the sand and surf....it will be great.

Our greatest excitement at the present time is that Luke, our grandson who just turned 12, will be flying up to be with us over his spring break. We will drive to Calgary again on the 11th of March to pick him up. We have so many plan for him to experience the snow/cold experience. We will let you know how it all goes.