Tuesday, 31 January 2012


Tuesdays.  I love Tuesdays.   Tuesday is the one day of the week that is classified as Museum Day in our household.   I volunteer at 26 Field Regiment Royal Canadian Artillery - XII Manitoba Dragoons Museum. The tiny Museum with the really long name.     The Museum is staffed by volunteers from a 16 year old  to an 86 year old.    They all have such great vision and enthusiasim.   It is an honour and a delight to work side by side with them.   Well,  in actuality  it is more like running after them than working side by side. :)   Who knew 86 and 80 and 70 year olds had such vim and joy??       This is what is missing in our Churches these days.... vision, enthusiasm, and joy.     While most people who volunteer in the Church often tire after volunteering for ten to twenty years, these Museum volunteers don't look at volunteering as a time event but look at working at the Museum as a life time event.   Certainly makes a difference.    In fact on one wall in the Museum is a Memorial to all those who volunteered at the Museum and have since died.   Each and every one of them volunteered right up to the day they died.  How neat is that.    

Today at the Museum is the completion of the Weapons Verification.    Each quarter CFB Shilo asks us to check to make sure the firearms we have displayed in the Museum are the one's  that CFB Shilo has on their list.    Yesterday Old Son was a tremendous help with getting the Weapons Verification started.    Old Son is a Reservist with 26 Fd Regt.  He is a Drummer in the Pipe and Drum band but knows more about weapons (old and new) than I will ever know (or remember!).    While I am still all thumbs when it comes to handling weapons,  Old Son took the time to say to me, "Mom stand this way,  hold this firearm like this,  here is how this site works,  and use those middle aged muscles!" 

So, today,  go do something that revives your soul!   Pray!   Take a walk with your family!  Go find neat friends!!

Prayer:   Jesus Christ,  Son of God, use us to bring peace into Your world.   Jesus Christ,  Son of God,  use us to bring love into Your world.  Jesus Christ,  Son of God,  help us to grow love and peace and joy in Your world.    Amen.

Read:  St. Matthew 5:  9 – 12
“Blessed are the peacemakers.”   In Psalm 34:14,  we find that bringing peace is more than just the absence of war.... bringing peace means asking God to help create a balance in this world of a  life of harmony and blessing.... and asking God to use us to help with this creation.   Unlike Colt Gun Manufactors who made a single action revolver called “The Peacemaker”...one shot and all your “problems” are dead.   That isn’t the type of “peacemaking” that Jesus is talking about here!  The word peace means wholeness.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness”.      Well this Beatitude is just not fun at all.   Jean Vanier in his book “I Met Jesus”, translates this Beatitude as “If you are kind.  If you love me and try to do what I say, you will be laughed at, pushed, and persecuted.  Do not worry.  Do not be afraid.  I am with you.  Then you are happy and blessed of my Father. I say to Jesus, ‘But it is hard to love, to give, to always forgive, to live as you say.  I try but I can’t.  I often fail.  So quickly I become discouraged.  I become lazy and just think of myself.’   Then Jesus smiles at me and says, ‘Yes, for you all alone, it is impossible but nothing is impossible for God!  I am here to help you and to forgive you.  In that way, you still remain my friend.’ ”     Life as a follower of Christ will not be a bed of roses.  Life as a follower of Christ will not always be easy.... BUT God  is with us always.   We are blessed.

Prayer:   God,   we thank You that You are with us always.   And we delight in Your love and Your life.   Amen.

Many blessings

Monday, 30 January 2012

Blessed are Those Retreat

Happy Monday  30 January 2012.   Aaaah,  Mondays.    This is the day in the week that we are back to school,  back to work,  back to volunteerings, and cleaning up the fabric scraps off of the quilting table. As well as wondering how in the world all those 2 1/2" squares somehow ended up being 1 1/2" too big in some strips.... hummm.  
There is something special about Mondays as we take the Gospel into our daily lives.   
Sunday in Brandon was a day of adventure.   St. Andrew's  Presbyterian Church said Good-Bye to
Rev Paul Sakasov as God calls him to begin ministry with  Elmvale - Floss Pastoral Charge in Ontario.   Lay Pastor  Kathy Lancaster and the Youth lead worship at First Church.  AND  Rev Jeannie Lee was inducted into Knox Neepawa (45 minutes northish of Brandon).   Sunday was a day of celebration indeed!

Reading Katie's  blog this morning at the Messy Table was an aha!   (You can find her blog off of http://www.presbyterianrecord.ca/  then click on Messy Table).   Through the time of Lent,  Katie will be reading the Gospel According to St. Matthew.    God is a God of connections.   And here we are reading The Gospel According to St. Matthew for our year long devotional!  How neat.  

Prayer:   Grant us mercy O LORD.   Grant us the mercy that brings new life and hope into all our lives.   Grant us the mercy,  Son of God,  that brings love into our lives.   Amen.

Read:  St. Matthew 5: 6 – 8
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness”.  Jesus does not only mean those who are hungry and thirst but those who would put their lives on the line in order that God’s will be done on earth.  These are the  people who seek righteousness and justice in everyday lives, not for themselves,  but for all others on this earth.  
“Blessed are the merciful”.  Mercy is  the practice of bringing life and hope and love into people’s lives.  
“Blessed are the pure in heart”.    Jesus does not say, “Blessed are those who are perfect!”   Phew.  Thank goodness.  What Jesus is saying here are the pure in heart are those who always put God first and ask God where He may use them each day to help others. These are the people who seek God.     These are the pure in heart.  

Prayer:   This day,  Great God,  may we put You first in everything that we do and say.   Help us to seek You out in everything that we do and say today.   Grant us Your wisdom to discern Your call this day.   Amen and Many Blessings.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Preparatory Saturday

Aaaah,   Saturday Retreat.  The time to get ready for Church on Sunday.   Making
sure  the Sunday-Go-To-Meetin'  clothes are clean (or at least the pens and
USB sticks are taken out of pants pockets before washing!).  Time to say prayers
for all those who preach on Sunday.   Time to say prayers for the needs of the

And Saturday is Quilting while listening to "Saturday Afternoon at the Opera".
I'm an Opera fan that  hasn't a clue about Operas.  I turn on CBC Radio Two
each Saturday afternoon and try to guess what Opera is the Opera of the day.
99.99% of the time,  I haven't a clue.  But it is Opera. Wonderful! 

Funny how the house is quiet Saturday morning but Saturday afternoon,  Old Son
turns on Ironmaiden.  Humm.   Opera and Ironmaiden frequently compete for
sound.    And how often the Opera and Ironmaiden tunes sound hauntingly
melodic.  Who knew!

Saturday quilting time.   Aaaah.  Today I'm working on a give away quilt.  This
was actually for last year's  Fundraiser for the Christian Heritage School but the event
happened before the quilt was completed.  Oops.   The School is not having a Dinner -Fundraiser
this year so this quilt is open to offers for your fundraiser!  I make quilts not for sale
but to give-away.   I did attempt to start a quilting business but didn't have the IT
savy nor the cash.    In reading Ester deWaal's  books on Celtic prayers,  a light bulb
clicked on full wattage.   I love making quilts and I love helping people.   What could
be better than to give quilts away. 

Have an awesome Saturday and remember to take time to listen to God.

Saturday Retreat:   For this day, O LORD,  we give You thanks and praise.  We
stand at the cusp of Your Holy Day,  we wait for Your words to us this day. Be with
those who preach You Word.  May all those who preach be open to Your still
small voice.   Help us to listen to Your voice today.  And may we always remember the needs of others. This we ask in Jesus' name.  Amen.

Friday, 27 January 2012

First Retreat

Welcome to the Prairie Retreat blog.  It is great to have you drop in!

This is a blog about life as a Prairie Presbyterian.  I am a Presbyterian
who lives on the Prairies (yahoo Manitoba).  I write Devotionals,  Bible Studies,  create
give-away Quilts,  and volunteer with an awesome Military Museum (shameless plug
for 26 Field Regiment Royal Canadian Artillery - XII Manitoba Dragoons Museum,
Brandon Armoury,  Brandon MB). 

As a Prairie Presbyterian, life is amusing.   I frequently have to remember which tote
bag goes with me to which adventure.  It really is disconcerting to open up my tote
bag thinking I've grabbed the Bible Study tote only to find Museum ammunition.  Oops.

Presbyterians used to be known as "the disciplined people of the Bible".   So, each blog will include a portion of Devotional... and perhaps when I get really good at understanding the inner works of "blog"  I'll post photos of quilts... or ammo :)

Prayer:   Omnipotent God,  we bow humbly before You this day.   The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them.  God delivers us from all our troubles.  LORD,  You are close to the brokenhearted and You save those who are crushed in spirit.  In You we take refuge.  Amen.

Read:  St. Matthew 5: 3 – 5
Jesus begins teaching the disciples with ten central understandings of Christianity.  Jesus begins each teaching with the word “Blessed”.... those who are happy in God’s sight.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit”. This first Beatitude comes out of the Old Testament understanding of ‘the poor’.  In the Old Testament, the  poor, were people who realized their own frailness and who looked to God for safety.    God’s concern for the poor, the humble, the contrite of spirit is recorded in Isaiah 57:15, Psalm 34:18, Proverbs 16:19,  and Proverbs 29: 23.  The poor in spirit are those who bow humbly before God in total trust, who are willing to await everything at God’s hand. 
 “Blessed are those who mourn.”  Jesus speaks of a sorrow that is piercing, a sorrow that can been seen on the faces and attitudes of people.  The mourners include those who mourn over the power of evil in the world as well as those who mourn over sin in their own lives.  Jesus promises comfort and strength from God.   
“Blessed are the meek” comes from Psalm 37:11.  The meek are not soft like we understand that word today... the meek as understood in the Jewish understanding meant those who are considerate, unassuming, and peaceable towards God and humans.    The meek never grow resentful nor bitter about anything which life may bring to them. 
To inherit meant to enter into possession of something which was promised and foretold by God.  Oh the happiness of all who are so committed to God that they are entirely God focussed, for such a person will be right with God and will be right with self and will be right with others... and will enter into that life which God has promised and which God alone can give.  

Prayer:   Great God,  may we be still before You and wait patiently for You.  Help us to refrain from anger and turn from the insults put upon us by other people.  We know, O LORD,  that You provide us with great joy and great peace.  Amen.

Thanks for stopping in and may God continue to bless you this day!

Many blessings,