Thursday, 31 May 2012

Amazing Thursday

Happy Thursday!   It was a gorgeous day in Brandon yesterday... not only for the weather but also time to spend with my sister and Mom.   It is good for family to get together and be in one another's presence.  

Old Son's   Lee-Enfield No 4 Mk1 Longbranch arrived in the mail today.  Wow,  what a fine piece of history!    As we get close to commemorating the landing at Juno Beach on D-Day June 6 1944,  we remember that it was this rifle that the Canadians used.   

When we talk about war and battles and commemorating times of battle,  we think about freedom and sacrifice.  But we also need to remember to forgive.   Sacrifice and forgiveness are equally as difficult but something that all must do in order to become whole in God's sight.

Thursday Retreat....
Prayer:  Heavenly Father,  may I listen,  read, and  learn Your words this day.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Read  St. Matthew 18:  15 – 20

If a person sins against you  what are you to do?

When a person hurts you through word or deed,  what are we to do as Christians?   In these verses, Jesus gives us the example to follow.  Write down the steps that are needed when someone hurts you.




And in everything,  Jesus asks us to offer again God’s forgiving love.   Always forgive!

Dear LORD,   I ask for Your forgiveness this day.   Please forgive me for being a stumbling block to others.  Please forgive me when I don’t understand that I’ve hurt another.   Please forgive me when my pride gets in the way and I always want to be right.  This I ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Retreating in Wednesday

Yesterday at the Museum we had 16 people through the Museum.    Now while that doesn't seem like a lot of people,   it does mean six hours of touring - guiding - moving.    Old Son did awesome on his first full day at the Museum.   And the Volunteers have now declared that he is a bonafied Museum worker....  35 minutes after being given a task,  we interrupted him to help move two display cases... then a TV... then play hide and seek to find the Museum DVD (which we didn't find)... then to be scribe for cap badges... then putting chairs and tables away... then washing dishes... and finally the end of the day.

How often do we get upset or frustrated when we have interruptions in our day of tasks we didn't expect to have to do.     We can get frustrated with the interruptions or we could remember that each interruption is an opportunity to say a prayer.    Interruption prayers  are short prayers that are said on the run for the new tasking we have been given,  for the person giving us a new task, and the grace to accept the interruption with hospitality.   Interruption prayers also keep us positive with renewed enthusiasm.   

This day,  when you are interrupted  say a prayer of interruption!    A mini retreat in God all in itself.

Wednesday Retreat.......
Prayer:  Eternal Lord,  speak to us Your living Word that through the encouragement of the Scriptures we may be renewed in faith and hope.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  (PCC The Book of Common Worship)

Read St. Matthew  18:  10 – 14

If a shepherd owns one hundred sheep and one wanders away,  the shepherd will go looking for that lost sheep until he finds the sheep.   The same way,  our Father in Heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.  

Said another way,   if an Elder has an Elders district and one of their members hasn’t been seen in Church for months,  it is the responsibility of the Elder to go find the member.    Our Father in Heaven is not willing that any of these members should be lost.

Today,  how will you be the arms of Jesus to help find those who are lost?

Prayer:  O Lord,  support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, the evening comes, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and our work is completed in Your name.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Many blessings!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Delightful Tuesday

Old Son and I were at the Swiftsure Sea Cadets last night giving a Presentation on D-Day.   It was a great learning experience for all of us.   The majority of the Sea Cadets did not know anything about D-Day.   It was an honour to share some of the Veterans memories of D-Day and describe why it is important that we never forget events like D-Day.   Next Monday,  the Sea Cadets will be serving Tea and Sandwiches to the Veterans, their families, and the community at the Museum's D-Day Event.

How awesome to be able to share history with youth aged 12 to 18.   Hopefully they will never forget D-Day and the sacrifice from all countries involved in D-Day.

How too with the Gospel.  May we share the Good News of Jesus with youth so that they never forget God's wonderful grace and love.

Today is a Museum tour for the Kiwanis Club of Brandon.  It will be an honour to give them a tour and let them know why we keep artefacts from XII MB Dragoons and 26 Fd Regiment Royal Canadian Artillery....     Keeping the history alive is even more important when sharing the Good News of Jesus!  No matter what age-- share the gospel!    

Prayer:   Lord,  You have walked with others.  Be our companion now and in the days to come.  Embrace us in Your steadfast love and give us that deep peace which comes as we live in You and You live in us.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.   (PCC The Book of Common Worship)

Read St. Matthew  18:  1 – 9

And frequently we think the Disciples have really understood the words and work of Jesus and then a story like this comes along and we realize how “human” the disciples really were!

The disciples come to Jesus and ask who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Did Jesus smack his head against a wall and start muttering, “How come they just don’t get it?   After all my teaching,  how come they just don’t get it?”   No,   Jesus looks around and finds a child.  Jesus places a child in the midst of the disciples and says, “I’m telling you that unless you return to square one and start over like children,  you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in.  Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the  same as receiving me”  (The Message  St. Matthew 18: 3-5).

Now Jesus is not talking about keeping our faith at a Grade 1 level all of our lives but trusting in Jesus simply and easily.    

It is simple really.  Trust in Jesus.  And there you are!

Prayer:   Gracious God,  forgive us and help us to forgive others.  Heal us from the pain of self condemnation.  Free us from the burden of failures that cannot be corrected.  Renew us with Your loving assurance that our sins have been forgiven, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Redeemer.  Amen.  (PCC The Book of Common Worship)

Many blessings!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Most amazing Monday

Today we wake up to fog.   Brandon fog is nothing like coastal BC fog nor  Maritime fog.   This fog just hovers over the buildings and trees.   This fog looks more like one forgot to clean their glasses than fog.     Yet even this little amount of fog changes one's perspective of the neighbourhood.   Across the street from us is a school.... and in the fog,  while we can see the school  we can't see the flag pool.   Certain portions of our normal vision are hidden.

Isn't that like our Spiritual life.  Sometimes to us God seems to be hidden or missing when in fact,  God is still present but our vision of God is blurred or changed.    Often times this is due to our attitude or getting discouraged with life.  

Today,  write down three things your are thankful for and then write down a big THANK YOU.  Do this every day this week.... and your attitude will come out of the fog and become positive again.

Monday Retreat......
Prayer:  Blessed are You,  gracious God,  Creator of the universe.  You desire wholeness for all and provide abundantly for our every need.   When we are in a fog,  You are present by our side.  We give You thanks for our very lives this day.  Amen  (PCC The Common Book of Worship).

Read St. Matthew 17: 24 - 27

The Tax Collects were  talking about a Temple tax.  This is is interesting.  Moses instituted the Temple Tax for upkeep of the Tabernacle in the wildness  (no Pie fundraiser for Moses!)  It was imposed each time there was a census (Exodus 30: 11 - 16)  In Jesus' time, the Temple Tax had grown to every year for males aged twenty to fifty.

A Tax Collector comes to the house in Capernaum and asks Peter if Jesus pays the Temple tax.  Peter reponds that of course Jesus pays the tax!
Jesus then gives Peter a story of a king and who the king collects taxes from -- from his own sons or others.  Peter immediately responds, "Others!".   Jesus then says, "Oh then the sons are exempt."  Meaning that God is their King and should God be collecting taxes from his Son?  The answer is no.  But Jesus says to that they may not offend the Temple  Peter is to go catch a fish.  This fish will have a four-drachma coin.  Take the coin and give to the Collector.

What does this say about Churches?  Do we pay taxes Should our Churches be paying taxes.

Prayer:  Almighty God, You love us with an everlasting love.  You know all about us.  You know the thoughts of our hearts before our lips speak them.  You are acquainted with all our ways.  Hold us in Your love as we hold onto our faith this day.  This we ask in Jesus' name.  Amen.  (PCC The Book of Common Worship).

Many blessings!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Happy Pentecost

Happy Pentecost!   This is the day when the Holy Spirit came pouring down upon the Disciples and provided them the ability to speak languages that they did not know so that they could share the Good News of Jesus with the community.  This is also the day when the Holy Spirit came pouring down upon the Disciples to be the Sustainer in their ministries.

Do something today that gives you joy and has sustained you throughout your life!  (Like quilting :)  )

As you go to worship today,  go with a joyful heart knowing that God has given each and every one of us the Holy Spirit to be our comforter and sustainer in our lives.

Prayer:  On this day of Pentecost, the Church is filled with joy. Strengthened with measureless hope, we pray to Christ, who is calling his Church together in the Holy Spirit. 
Lord, renew the face of the earth. 
Lord Jesus, raised on the cross, you poured out the water of rebirth for the life of the world – Quicken the life of all people with the gift of the Spirit. 
Lord, renew the face of the earth.  
Raised up to God’s right hand, you bestowed on the apostles the Father’s Gift;– your Church now waits for the same Gift, the same hope.
Lord, renew the face of the earth.  
You breathed your Spirit upon the apostles, and gave them the power of forgiveness:– set all people free today from the prison of sin.  
Lord, renew the face of the earth.  
You promised to send us the Spirit of truth, that we might become your heralds throughout the world. – Through his presence in the Church may we bear faithful witness to you. 
Lord, renew the face of the earth. 
Lord God, you sanctify your Church in every race and nation by the mystery we celebrate on this day. Pour out the gifts of the Holy Spirit on all humankind, and fulfil now in the hearts of your faithful what you accomplished when the Gospel was first preached on earth. Amen.  (Liturgy of the  Hours, Collins Publishing,  2005)

Many blessings!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Almost Pentecost Saturday

Thank you so much for keeping Old Son in your prayers.  All his tests came back as "fit as a fiddle" which is amazing.   Now,  why he has a severe sore throat, canker sores in his mouth, and extreme fatigue remains a mystery.     But what our family was howling with laughter over was the Dr recommended Old Son go on a holiday.     Holiday has been a word in our family that hasn't been successful for four years.     And it looked like this year there would not be a holiday either (seeing as the car needed new tires and Husband is heading off to Vancouver for a month long course).   But somehow when a Dr says, "Thou shalt go away"   suddenly the family shalt go away.     As of now,  we have planned a weekend trip to North Dakota in June.    

Today is the Women of the War Years Luncheon - Fundraiser.  This group is extremely dedicated to preserving and sharing the life experiences of women who enlisted during WW2.   In Canada we had the Canadian Womens Army Corps (CWACs),  and the WRENs (Navy).    This is a great fundraiser where one dawns one's bestest black pants and tweed blazer and goes forth to eat and learn.

Today is also the day before Pentecost.  Pentecost is the time in the Church's life when the Holy Spirit came down upon the Disciples and they were able to speak languages --  both living and dead languages.  This indeed is the work of God.       Today,  how will you speak the work of God in your community?

Saturday Retreat....
Prayer:     Send down the Holy Spirit upon us so that we might rejoice in renewed enthusiasm.    Send down Your Holy Spirit upon the Churches in Manitoba and NW Ontario so that they may be renewed in Your love.    Send down Your Holy Spirit upon Your Ministers,  Lay Leaders, and  workers.  Keep them in Your  love and hope.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Many blessings!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Blue Shirt Friday

Today in Brandon is the day (Friday)  when people are asked to wear red shirts in support of the troops.    I did have one red short sleeved golf shirt from an Air Cadet fundraiser (Penhold AB).  The shirt was purchased in 2006 (or maybe even 2007).    Last month,  I discovered that the shirt had holes and was not befitting the decorum needed for a red shirt.  It was time to relegate the shirt to the "used cloth" bin.   Now there is no red short sleeved shirt in my dresser drawers. 

This is rather like our life in the Church isn't it.   We support some awesome missions but then over time we need to re-evaluate to see if we are giving our very best efforts to this mission.   Some missions may need to be dropped or our attitudes to these missions changed.  But in the Church (and in our dressers!)  there needs to be times to say, "This isn't working anymore.  Let us pray together and see what God has in store for us!"

And so we pray and really listen to what God is telling us to do for missions,  for change, and for new red shirts!

Please keep Old Son in your prayers as he goes today to hear the results from all his tests. Yesterday he actually had enough energy to do a bit of cleaning on his rifles.  This is a good thing to see a bit of energy!

Friday Retreat.....
Prayer:  God,  You are our salvation.  We will trust in You and not be afraid.  You are our strength and our might.  You are our salvation.   In Jesus Christ name we pray.  Amen  (PCC The Book of Common Worship).

Read St. Matthew  17:  14 – 23

A father comes and kneels before Jesus and says, “Lord, have mercy on my son”.    The father feels helpless at the apparent uncontrollable behaviour of his son. The son has seizures and falls into the fire or into water. 
Jesus then drives out the demon plaguing the boy and the boy is made whole.    The disciples, who had done  healing on their missionary journeys, wondered why they were not able to heal the boy. Jesus responds,  “Because you have so little faith.   Even a tiny amount of faith in God can move mountains.  Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Nothing will be impossible if we ask God.    Wow!  These are awesome words for us to remember and put into action.   Jesus’ words are not for us to  just  ask for anything that comes into our heads. It is not an invitation to manipulate God.  It is a call to put all our trust in God knowing that, whatever happens to us, God has our best interests at heart. Such a faith, accompanied by a deep love, is what brings the Love of God and peace into our lives.

Prayer:  Great God,  we know that anyone who is in Christ is a new creation.  The old life has gone and a new life has begun.  Help us this day to begin a new life in Your love.  In Jesus Christ’s name we pray.  Amen.

Many blessings!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Prayful Thursday

People at the Brandon Armoury amaze me.   Pedro,  the Cleaner, works at Maple Leaf (pork plant) as well as part time at the Armoury.   Yesterday he was looking especially tired.  When asked he said he was tired but it was a joyous tired as he is saving money so that his wife can take more English lessons as well as take his in-laws and family to Banff in July for a holiday.   A joyous tired.   Pedro is looking ahead to the joy that his extra work will bring.   Amazing!    Most of us would whine and grumble about having to work two jobs.   When one has a positive attitude,  it is amazing what can be accomplished.     Looking ahead and preparing the way are very similar.

How do we as a Church look ahead?  Or do we?  Or would we rather sit in the same place and remember the good ol' year(s)?    Keeping ourselves in the same place leads to stagnation and dispare.
Today,  think of ways the Church you belong to can move forward in sharing the Good News of Jesus with the community.  And yes,  we will all be tired from the work.... but it will be a joyous tired.

Please continue to keep Old Son in your prayers.   We will find out the results from all his medical tests tomorrow.

Please keep in your prayers Virden Cadet MCpl Coulter and his family.  MCpl Coulter died last Thursday from a dirt bike accident.  His Celebration of Resurrection will be Friday in Virden.

Thursday Retreat.....
Prayer:  Dear Jesus, I long for Your presence this day.   I come before You now  to clear my mind of all the things that battle for my attention. I humbly sit at Your feet asking You to minister to me through Your word.  Amen.

Read St. Matthew  17:  9 – 13

Coming down the mountain,  Jesus asks the three disciples to keep what happened up on the mountain,  to stay on the mountain.     After Jesus is raised from the dead,  they can tell anyone they want.
The disciples then asks Jesus  why the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first.    The answer is it was foretold in the scriptures that Elijah would return as the forerunner of the Messianic age  (Malachi 4: 5).  

Suddenly a light bulb goes on in the minds of the Disciples.   A great prophet did appear  and it was the prophet of John the Baptist.     John the Baptist who is also called the Forerunner of the Messiah.

Today ask yourself how you can be a John the Baptist and prepare the way for God to come into people’s hearts and lives.

Prayer:  Blessed are You, gracious God.  You have given us life,   You have called us into wholeness and You refuse to let us go.  Draw us closer to You that we might experience Your healing presence and know Your faith love.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
(PCC The Book of Common Worship)

Many blessings!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Astounishing Wednesday

How did it get to be Wednesday so quickly?   Museum day yesterday was fabulous as always but lots of paperwork still needs to be accomplished.   An archealogy Professor at Brandon University is doing research on those who entered Brandon University and then enrolled in the Military for service during WW1.   What awesome research!   

Wednesday Retreat.....
Prayer:  Gracious God, fill my heart with faith in Your love so that with calm expenctancy, I may make room for Your power to possess me and gracefully accept Your will for me.  Through Jesus Christ our Saviour.  Amen.  (PCC The Book of Common Worship).

Read St. Matthew 17: 1 - 8

Six days after Peter and the disciples make their Confession of Faith,  Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up into the mountains.  Jesus takes time away for prayer.  As he is praying, Jesus is transfigured into bright sunlight.  Then Moses and Elijah appear and begin talking with Jesus.  Moses and Elijah represent the two great figures of the Old Testament.  Moses represents the law and Elijah represents the prophets of the Old Testament.
Peter says to Jesus, 'Lord, it is good for us to be up here.  If you wish, I will put up three shelters -- one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah".
As Peter is speaking, a voice from the cloud says, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.  Listen to him!" 
The disciples fall face down.  Falling face down is the proper stance for coming before God.  Remember that no human can look upon the face of God.
Jesus tells the three disciples to get up and not be afraid.  When the disciples finally look up, they only see Jesus.
God tells the disciples to listen to Jesus.  For the disciples and us today, this means to hear what Jesus syas, to accept what Jesus says, and to identify fully with what Jesus says.  As we all know, it is easy to listen to anything but it is also easy to forget when we just listen.  We learn more when we listen and put into action what Jesus asks us to do.

Prayer:  Please forgive me this day O Lord for the things I've left undone or the things I've left unsaid.  Please forgive me this day O Lord for the hurtful things I've said and for the hurtful things I've done.  In You is all forgiveness.  In Jesus' name I pray.  Amen.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Yahoo Tuesday

Tuesday Retreat.....
Prayer:  God,  grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.  The courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference.  Through Jesus Christ our Saviour.   Amen.   (Reinhold Neibuhr taken from PCC The Book of Common Worship)

Read St. Matthew 16: 21 – 28

Jesus begins to explain to the disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer, be killed, and rise again on the third day.    Peter is upset that the Messiah would have to suffer and says to Jesus, “Impossible Master!  That can never be!”     What a shock Jesus’ words must be to Peter.  After all,  Peter has just declared that Jesus is the Messiah.   And the Israel understanding of Messiah was not of a Messiah that suffered.  The Messiah of Israel would bring new life and joy to God’s chosen people.
Jesus responds to Peter seems harsh.  Jesus states that Peter  is only looking at the human cost and not the will of God.  With this thought in mind,  Peter has become a stumbling block for Jesus.  Peter is trying to keep Jesus away from  harm but by doing so,  Peter also keeps Jesus away from the will of God.
But we know the end of  this story.  We know that after the Crucifixion and Resurrection, Peter and the disciples  finally understood the words of Jesus.  
When we pray for healing or help from God,  we use the words “may Your will be done”.  As this story of Jesus and Peter illustrates,  these five words are so important so that the work and will of God does not get blocked by our own wants and needs.

Prayer:  This is another day, O God.  I know not what it will bring forth but make me ready.  If I am to stand, help me to stand bravely.  If I am to sit,  help me to sit quietly.   If I am to lie in bed, help me to do so patiently.  If I am to walk,  help me to walk with great joy.  If I am to serve others,  help me to do so with great delight.   This I ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.  (The PCC Book of Common Worship)

Many blessings!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Holiday Monday

For Canadians,  this is known as the Victoria Day Weekend when we celebrate Queen Victoria's Birthday.    Some cities still celebrate by having extravagant Queen Victoria Day celebrations,  other cities do nothing.     Declaring.   An old fashioned word that we don't use very much in our daily speech.     But this weekend,  I was looking at all the beautiful astounding quilts on Amy's Creative Side blog.    This is a request by Amy for Quilters to put their favourite quilts online for other's to see and drool over and admire.    Declaring.   Interesting how all quilters "declare" why they chose their particular quilt to display online.  We boldly go forth and say, "This is my quilt and I love it!"    The quilts are amazing!

As Christians,  how do we declare our love for God?

Monday Retreat......
Prayer:  O Lord,  support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, the evening comes, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and our work is done.  Then, Lord, in Your mercy grant us safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at the last.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.   (John Newman taken from PCC The Book of Common Worship)

Read St. Matthew 16:  13 – 20

Jesus asks the disciples who people say is the Son of Man.  The disciples answer by saying some people think the Son of Man is John the Baptist.  Other people think the Son of Man is Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.  
Then Jesus asks each disciple who they think Jesus is.    Peter answers, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”.  
Jesus responds to Peter by stating that Peter did not get his answer out of books or from a teacher but through thought and prayer,  Peter discovered who Jesus is.
Then Jesus gives Peter a mission to fulfil.
During Confirmation in the Presbyterian Church in Canada,  people stand in front of the congregation and publically declare that Jesus  Christ is their Lord and Saviour.    This public declaration is called a Confession of Faith.   And we each must make this Confession of Faith.

Think back today to when you were Confirmed.   Do you remember what words you used to make a Confession of Faith?  
What mission did God ask you to fulfil?

Prayer:   Help me Lord,  to continually show mercy, peace, and justice this day to others.  But most importantly,  may my actions be Your actions of love to this world in all that I do and say this day.   In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.

Many blessings!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Amy's Creative Side

Thank you Amy for creating the Blogger's Quilt Festival.   This is the first time I've attempted
to link this blog onto the Festival so there may be some bumps along the way.

The quilt that is pictured below is the quilt I created for  Manitoba's  100th Anniversary "Manitoba Quilt Competition" in 2010.
This quilt was a great learning experience.    Sweat and tears and finally delight when I talked with Coreen Zerr from Nanaimo and learned that she and her Sister were designing a quilt for the Competition.  Once I knew that Coreen was creating a quilt for this competition,  I stopped worrying about my quilt as I knew the Coreen would win.    Coreen is an amazing Canadian Quilter.... and yes she and Phyllis did win the Competition.  Their quilt was displayed at Manitoba House during the Vancouver Olympics.  How awesome!

Some of the things I learned about this experience...
1.  Enjoy what you are creating!    The left side of the quilt represents our great farming industry.   The green Flying Geese represents our forests.   The blue Economy quilt blocks represent the Hudson's ay.   The Bear's Paws represents our rich First Nation heritage.  The Lone Star represents our willingness to sacrifice our lives for others.     The centre of the quilt is the outline of the Province of Manitoba.   The two men in the circles are Louis Riel  and Lord Strathcona... Fathers of our Province.    
2.  I made this quilt to reflect our Province's  rich heritage and history.... 

and did a lot of thread painting.    Because I am not clever at all when it comes to drawing, I
used heavy upholstery thread in the bobbin and created the scenes (such as this grouping of Crocus -  MB's provincial flower) by putting a drawing on paper and then sewing along the drawing lines from
the back of the quilt.  

3.  Use Tradition.  In the four corners of a Traditional Lone Star Ojibwa Give-Away Quilt pattern,  are four Manitoban Soldiers.     Sgt Tommy Prince,  Lt Allan McLeod,  PO Andrew Mynarski, Cpl Leo Clarke.  These men were amazing men in providing us with our freedom and peace today.   The Lone Star is created using the traditional Ojibw colours... white represents heaven, spirituality, and Elders...  yellow represents children,  red represents youth,  and black represents adults.

Throughout this quilt are metal bars sewn with words of inspiration of what it means to live and work in Manitoba.  

This was an awesome quilt to make.... and it was a blessing to meet the other quilters in this 2010 competition.  All of their quilts were simply amazing! 

Link here to view the other quilts in Amy's  Blogger's Quilt Festival:

Sabbath Day

Great God,  as we go up to the House of the Lord, our hearts leap for joy.  This is the day we set aside to gather together to Worship You.  This is the day we call "Holy".  For those who preach Your Word this day,  we lift them up in prayer.   Be with those who preach and lead worship so that their hearts may be open to Your Words and they will share the Good News with all.   Be with those of us who sit in the pew.  May our hearts and minds be open to receiving Your Good News.   May we take Your Good News into our community this week.   Thank You God that this is the day we take our rest in You and meditate upon Your Word day and night.   This we ask in Jesus' name.  Amen.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Supporting Friday

In Brandon there is a marvelous website called     This website is a community centre.   It has local news, weather,  jobs available,  classifieds,  houses for sale,  and most importantly --discussion pages.   The discussion pages have a huge range of topics.   What I find fascinating about the discussion pages is people's passion on each topic.   When it is a hot topic (for instance the woman that wanted to know what to do with her boyfriends dog as the dog was biting her kids.) the discussion flourishes and the debate swings wide and free.   Frequently there is a "yes we agree" side and a "you've got to be kidding me" side with very few people sitting on the fence.    What the discussion usually comes down to is  belief and responsibility.   

Is there this kind of discussion of beliefs and responsibility in the Church?  

Our Presbyterian Church is ruled by Jesus as our head of the Church... and then the Bible and then the Living Faith (Creeds and Statement of Belief),  and then somewhere down a step or two are the Governing Principles of the Church called "The Book of Forms". The Book of Forms is composed of rules and regulations.   These rules and regulations were usually created after a Congregation - Minister went through a time of difficulty and never wanted to have any other Congregation or Minister go through this same time of trial.   Yet,  how many Elders have I heard saying, "But Jesus didn't want us to follow rules and regulations.  Just look at how he denounced the Scribes and Pharisees for following the Law!"      This is not the same thing at all!  Jesus was concerned that the Scribes and Pharisees had gone overboard and were just looking at the Laws and not at God.  They were totally focussed on following the Law first and God second or third.  

What happens in a Church when the Book of Forms are not followed by the Minister and Elders and Board of Managers?    Frustration,  discontent,  superiority from those Elders who say, "I don't follow the Book of Forms and in all discussions about Church rules - regulations we will have to agree to disagree".     This is so sad.  Especially as our Elders state when they are ordained that they will uphold the teachings of the Bible and follow the rules and regulations (Book of Forms) of the Church.  

Any rules and regulations of a Church state what the Church believes and takes that responsibility into action.  The same with God's  love... we believe in God's love and out of our love for God,  we take action to share God's love with the world.  

Today during your time of retreating in God,  ask yourself:
1.   what your Church rules and regulations are all about 
2.   how does the Church you attend take these rules and regulations into action for God
3.   how can you support those Elders and Ministers who think following the rules and regulations of the Church get in the way of doing the work of God
4.  ask God to provide you with an eager attitude to serve God each day.

Friday Retreat....
Prayer:  Help us O Lord to keep ourselves attune to Your Word.  When our foot stumbles,  guide us back to Your path of righteousness.   This we ask in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Read St. Matthew 16:  5 – 12

And across the lake went Jesus and the disciples.  The disciples then all say, “Oh rats!  We’ve forgotten the bread!!”    They are thinking of their hungry stomachs.
Jesus says for them to be on their guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.    Can’t you see a very large question mark in each of the disciples mind’s?    They are thinking physical bread and physical yeast which makes bread.  Jesus is not talking about the yeast that sits and ferments  but the “yeast” or teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees that are sitting and fermenting and becoming deadly.    Their teachings have forgotten the love of God and of God’s redeeming love. Instead the Pharisees and Sadducees  teach about Laws and only the Laws.  

Prayer:   Great God,  may we never forgot Your love for us.  May we remember Your redeeming love and keep Your love in our hearts with an ever eager attitude to serve You all of our days.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Many blessings!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Serenity Thursday

Museum yesterday.  An extra day at the Museum to get a bit more paperwork completed.   What a hoot.  I think my name yesterday was Thyphod Lorna.   Busted the CFAMS program... Sgt Stantial got all our lost artefacts downloaded but I can't enter any donors onto the program.  Without the donors,  the program will not accept any artefacts nor photos.   But he saved all our other artefacts!  What a miracle!
 Then as I was moving the computer and table to get into the filing cabinet to do some other paperwork, if the legs of the table don't fold and off slides the monitor and computer, keyboard and mouse.  You know my stomach just caved in as I saw everything sliding and couldn't reach out quick enough to stop everything.  I must have been howling with dismay as it wasn't long before Sgt Lacerte, Supply Officer,   came by and helped me put the computer back together again. And the computer works. Another person who created a miracle!  Hurrah!   The computer looks rather lumpy but works.  Phew!   And did I mention the First Aid Kit that went smashing to the floor when  I opened up the key press???    I left the First Aid kit on the Curator's desk.       Isn't that what Curator's are for?    Providing First Aid to all?!

Please keep Old Son in your prayers.  He is still sick... sore throat,  fever,  and sleeping for hours on end.    Good thing his employers at the Museum know about sickness and are flexible about changing his hours.   

For friends and those God sends to us to help us throughout the day!  Thanks be to God!

Thursday Retreat.....
Prayer:   O Almighty God,  whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that,
according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Book of Divine Worship

Read St. Matthew 16:  1 – 4
The Pharisees and Sadducees come to Jesus yet again.   When we read of the Pharisees and Sadducees and all the turmoil and hazards they laid out for Jesus,  we often think these two groups of people were horrible men.   But they weren’t.   Perhaps look at their continual questions not so much vindictive as questioning Jesus about faith.   Jesus was making them look at their own beliefs.  And for 99% of us,  looking at what we believe and having to state what we believe is very very tough.
The Pharisees and Sadducees ask Jesus to prove himself.  Jesus responds with they know the weather by looking at the sky but they can not seem to interpret the sign of the times.  The only sign they will be able to understand is the sign of Jonah.   
What is the sign of Jonah?    As Jonah was in the belly of a big fish for three days,  so the Son of Man will be dead and resurrected on the third day.     
The whole theme of Jonah is God’s  redeeming love for all,  not only of God’s chosen people.   So too, the Gospel According to St. Matthew is a story of God’s redeeming love for us all.

Prayer:  O God, whose blessed Son, our great high priest, has entered once for all into the Holy Place and ever lives to intercede on our behalf: grant that we, sanctified by the offering of his body may draw near with full assurance of faith by the way which he has dedicated for us and evermore serve thee, the living God; through the same thy Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You, O Father, and the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end. Amen.
Church of South India

Many blessings!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Sunshine Wednesday

Museum Day was awesome as always but did come with a few "oh nos".   The Oh NO's  being the Artefact Computer System that contained all our artefacts entered over the last three years is gone, gone, gone.     And the backup copy we kept is corrupted.   How amusing.    It is times like this that I would be down on my knees, weeping in tears but what did the Museum Volunteers say?   "Well,  let's start all over again"   Simple as that.   Start again.   They did not say it with sighing nor frustration,  it was a simple "Let's start again".   How amazing!  I love their positive attitude.

Old Son got up yesterday all ready to go to the Museum -- his first day on the job... and promptly got sick.   Many prayers indeed.   

Wednesday Retreat.....
Prayer:   Creator,  Redeemer, and Sustainor,   we look up to the mountains and know that our strength comes from the Lord God of Hosts.  It is the Lord God of Hosts who made heaven and earth and the mountains.    We know that You will not let us stumble because You never sleep.    You guard our lives and You protect us.  For this and all things,  we give You thanks and praise.  Amen.

Read St. Matthew 15: 29 – 39

Jesus continues to heal person after person.  By the third day,  Jesus has compassion on the crowd and asks the disciples to feed the crowd.    The disciples  scrounge up seven loaves and some small fish.   Jesus tells the crowd to sit down.  Jesus blessed the food,  breaks the bread, and asks the disciples to distribute the meal.     After this meal there were seven baskets of leftovers.    
Are you saying, “Wait  a minute.  This story sounds very familiar to one that we just read about a few days ago.”   And you would be right.  
The Sacred Space website  “Living Space”   understands this reading to mean “the abundance that comes from God. This is what salvation means – the fulfilling of all our needs: spiritual, emotional, social and physical. In the Gospel, full of trust and confidence, people bring their lame, the crippled, the blind and dumb. Jesus healed them all and the crowds were amazed. There then comes a scene which is a kind of parable of what Jesus stands for: the compassion of God and his desire that the needs of all be supplied. They have been with him for three days and are hungry. They must be fed. There’s not much to feed them with – seven loaves of bread and a few fish. It is enough for Jesus. And again and again people who have dedicated themselves to caring for the hungry and homeless have found what they needed turning up on their doorstep.
At the end seven (a perfect number) baskets are still left uneaten. All this symbolises the care God takes of his people. And yet, where is it happening in so many parts of the world today? There is a crucial element in today’s Gospel we cannot overlook. It was not Jesus but his disciples who distributed the food. In our world there is an abundance. Food production outpaces population growth. If there is hunger, malnutrition and other unmet needs, it is because we, God’s stewards, are failing in our task of distribution. If there is hunger and suffering and death, it is not the work of God. It is our failure to work.”   (Sacred Space, “Living Space”  Wednesday First Week of Advent,  2010).  With enthusiasm and compassion as a Church,  we can help those who are in need.  We simply say, "let's start again".   

Prayer:   Great God,  You are our food of life.   You sustain us and provide us with nourishment.    You shield us from harm and shelter us under the shadow of Your wings.  
Help us to share our resources with those who are in need and those who do not know they are in need.   Help us to fulfil the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Many blessings!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Amazing Tuesday at the Museum

Yesterday Old Son became the owner of a new to him  Chevy Colorado truck.   Now,  while most people think an 18 year old paying for his own truck isn't something spectacular -- it is.    Old Son had saved his monies from his Air Cadet Summer Training Courses from the last five years and from his Reservist Basic Military Qualification Course last summer and from his Reservist duties.  Well done Old Son!       

Today Old Son begins his job at the Museum.   I am hoping he and the other Museum Intern, Reauna, don't become overwhelmed with the Collection they will be working on all summer.  It is a huge Collection.  First tasking will be to learn about the correct handling care of all artefacts,  then putting their computer together and entering the CFAMS computer program.  Many prayers indeed!

This is also the time of year when Presbyterian Ministry Students begin their Summer Student Ministries.   One such Student will be showing up at our house today!  Hurrah!

Last night was the 60 Swiftsure Sea Cadet Annual Ceremonial Parade.  What an awesome group of youth.  Wow!  Was I ever impressed.  It is a joy to see so many youth involved in such a great program that develops their leadership,  citizenship,  and decorum skills.  

May your Tuesday be a time of rejoicing over each new thing you do!

Tuesday Retreat......
Prayer:  Holy God,  Holy Mighty,  Holy Immortal One,  You rightly instruct us in how to live ever faithful to You.   Your promise has been tested through and thought, and we, your servants, love You dearly.   Your righteousness is eternally right and Your revelation is the only truth.  The way You tell me to live is always right.  Help us understand Your Word so that we can live to the fullest.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read St. Matthew 15: 21 – 28

Jesus then  journeys on to Tyre and Sidon.   A Canaanite woman knows that Jesus is coming and journeys from her region to where Jesus is staying.   For a Gentile woman to go see a Jewish man and ask for help is extremely humbling on the Canaanite woman’s part.    She  cries out to Jesus asking to heal her daughter, “Lord,  Son of David”.  Aha!  This woman has just declared that she is a believer.  
Here is a perfect example of what Jesus was talking about in the last verses.   A Canaanite woman is a Gentile according to Jewish law,  yet Jesus is willing to help heal her daughter.   
Their interaction  seems a bit odd though.   When the woman asks Jesus for help her replies with “It is not right to take the children’s  bread and toss it to their dogs”   What?  
Dogs is a derogatory term for all the Gentiles.    Bread is a term for the food that is used to nourish the tribes of Israel.     What Jesus is saying is that it is not right for a Gentile to take the birth rite of the Israelites.  
Quick as a wink,  the Canaanite woman responds, “Yes Lord but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s  table!”    Even the Gentiles eat the living word that falls from the table of the Israelites,  God’s chosen people. 
Jesus answers the woman, “Woman, you have great faith!  Your request is granted!”  And her daughter was healed.

Prayer:   Great God,  save us so we can carry out all Your instructions.   In Your love, You listen to us.  In Your justice,  You keep us alive.   Daily continue to renew our faith so that we can rejoice in Your love.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Many blessings!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Sabbath Monday

Monday.  The day of back to work,  back to school, and day of "where did I put my favourite socks?"  Traditionally Monday has been a Sabbath Day for Clergy.   And how very important a Sabbath Day is for Clergy.  A day to pray,  rest, relax, read the scriptures for the coming Sunday's sermon,   snore,  meditate,  pray in the presence of God.   While fewer and fewer Clergy are taking off Monday as their Sabbath Day,  it is extremely important for the Clergy to make one day each week their Sabbath Day.        And to stick to this day!    This means not hopping onto the internet just to check your e-mails (or mobile texts).   A day away in God's presence.     Making sure Clergy have one Sabbath Day spent in God's presence is good for the congregation too.    It keeps all the conflict and frustration contained to six other days... and frequently when one has a Sabbath day and really looks at one what was frustrated with,  the frustration isn't as big as it was originally thought.   A Sabbath Day keeps Clergy and Congregations healthy.  

So,  make time this week to spend one full day in God's presence.    Spend a day in God's glory.... pull up a lawn chair to a flowering Apple Tree and watch the bees do their work and pray.  What could be better than that then to spend a day in God's presence!    

Monday Retreat......
Prayer:    Turn towards us O Lord, and look kindly upon us as You always do to those who personally love You.   Steady our steps with Your Word of promise so nothing malign gets the better of us.   Rescue us from the grip of bad men and women so we can live life Your way.     This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read St. Matthew 15:  12 – 20

The disciples come to Jesus and state that the Pharisees are very upset with Jesus’ sayings concerning clean and unclean.
Jesus replies in a parable:  “Every tree that wasn’t planted by my Father in heaven will be pulled up by its roots.  Forget them. They are blind men leading blind men.  When a blind man leads a blind man, they both end up in the ditch.” The Message  Matthew 15: 13 -1 4
Peter says, “But I don’t get what you are saying!”
The NIV translates Jesus’ response as “Are you still so dull?”  
Jesus is saying whatever is in our hearts will come out through our talking.  If there are bad things and thoughts in our hearts,  then that is what we spew out. If there are good things and good thoughts in our hearts,  then only God’s goodness shines through our talking.
Then Jesus answers the Pharisees original  question of “why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders?  They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”   with “These are what make a man ‘unclean’ but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean’”.    This is the verse that makes every 12 year old boy rejoice…he doesn’t have to wash his hands because Jesus said so!        Jesus is saying that washing or not washing our hands is a mere tip of the law.  What is more important is what is in the person’s heart and what comes out in their speech and actions.     And yes,  we all still need to wash our hands before any meal not out of a law but out of physical health.  :)

Prayer:  Smile upon us, Your servants,  O LORD.  Teach us the right way to live.   This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Many blessings!

Sunday, 13 May 2012


Happy Mother's Day!

Prayer:    Great God,  we give You thanks for the gift of our Mothers.   For through them,  we were born.  Alleluia!  Through our Mothers,  we were given life.   Alleluia!     May we in turn share our lives by helping to nurture others in our families,  in our Churches, and in our community.        You give us life eternal O Lord.   For this we offer You our joy and hope and love.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Many blessings!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Preparing Saturday

Getting ready for Sunday means different things to the people in the Church.   For Sunday School teachers and Preachers,  it is a time of reviewing content and keeping the SundaySchool Students/Congregation in their prayers.   For Choir members,  it is practicing Sunday's Anthem.  For Organists it is a time of practicing and remembering that there is no Bflat on a certain hymn :)   For those of us in the pew,  we prepare our hearts for the Word of God and come before God with great joy in being able to Worship.       Aaaah,  Sunday.  A time of refreshment and renewal in God! 

 But sometimes  it is difficult to worship.   Whether it be because of the bad theology that one hears from the pulpit or  a snide comment someone made about the work you do (or don't do)  in the Church.  Or the Worship leaders have forgotten to step back and let Christ step forward. The very essence of Worship is when Worship Leaders and Ministers remember to step out of the way and let Jesus step forward.  It is difficult to explain but when one hears, "Join ME in singing" or "Join ME in Prayer"  that is not stepping out of the way.   To have Jesus step forward is as simple as saying "Join US in singing"  or "Let us join together in Prayer".          Or the Choir has a really off day and has had really off days for the last month.  Then we get anxious and greatly saddened.  How can we continue to worship when we are frustrated,  sad, and disappointed?

That is when we need to remember that worship is adoration and thanksgiving to God.  Find one thing that will bring God joy during Worship on Sunday... and you will find that it brings you joy too.  Whether it be saying a short prayer during the time the Minister blunders yet again through the Scripture readings or  Rejoicing in the one hymn that was awesome to sing.  Or saying a prayer for each of the congregational members if what is coming out of the Minister's mouth is horrid to your ears.    Worship is a time when we turn from ourselves and focus upon God.  That is when our prayers turn from "me" to "us".    Try it!

The following prayer is from an old friend (God rest his soul),  Father Ted Weare.   Father Ted was an awesome example of what it means to be a follower of Christ.  In his advanced years,  the Church he had belonged too for his whole life  turned around and bit him like a vengeful seeking lion.   And what did Father Ted do?   He did not go home and say, "That is it.  Church is dumb".  He went out and said, "I've always wanted to be Orthodox!"      And so his ministry with the Orthodox Church began.   This prayer was written by Father Ted during his time of struggle and upheaval.... and I think it a marvelous example of a prayer that is prayed by a Christian who knows that God is beyond any denomination.

Prayer:   Lord Jesus Christ,  Son of God,  let Your healing flow down upon me.  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, let your healing spring up within me.  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, let Your healing love enfold me.  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, let Your healing power flow through me.   Lord Jesus Christ,  Son of God,  let Your healing flow down upon Your Church.    Lord Jesus Christ,  Son of God,  let Your healing spring up within us so that we can help heal others.  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,  let Your healing love enfold Your Church.   Lord Jesus Christ,  Son of God,  let Your healing power flow through us to help others this day.    Amen.  

Friday, 11 May 2012

Yesterday was an awesome day.    We travelled to Neepawa and Plumas.    I purchased some wonderful fabrics at the Kickass Country Store, Plumas MB.   Owners Wayne and Carol  are wonderfully hospitable.   For instance... I was looking for a Dragon fabric to go with the red, gold, and black fabrics.  Wayne said, "I have some in my collection.  I'll be right back".   He went all the way home and picked up four dragon fabrics for me to choose.  Aaaah.  How neat is that!    And I've only been in their store three times.  For the Owners to extend such graciousness and sharing is awesome.   

While I was in the quilt store,  Old Son purchased a 2007 Chevy Colorado truck at the GWB Auto Sales in Plumas.  We both left Plumas very happy campers!  Old Son has been looking for a long while for a truck within his price range and this was his opportunity.    The amazing thing is Old Son
will be paying for this truck in CASH.    Good on him!                                                  

It was wonderful to spend the day with Husband and Old Son and just to be together.  Aaaah.  

Friday Retreat.....                                                                                                                     
Prayer:  Redeeming Lord,  every Word You give to us is a miracle.   How can we help but obey?   Break open Your Words and let the light shine out, let ordinary people see the meaning.   Turn our way,  look kindly on us as You always do to those who personally love You. Steady our steps with Your Word of promise so that no harm will come to us.   Rescue us from the grip of bad men and women so that we can live life Your Way.   Smile on us,  Your Servants.  Teach us the right way to live.  In all this we ask for Your will to be done.  Amen.

Read St. Matthew 15:  1 – 11
From two stories of miracles,  these verses bring us right back to every day life.   The Pharisees and Scribes come to Jesus and ask why the disciples play fast and loose with the rules.
Jesus responds quickly by saying, “Why do you use your rules to play fast and loose with God’s commands?”     Then Jesus gives the Pharisees and Scribes some examples of how they have played fast and loose with God’s commands.
How do we use the teachings that Jesus has given us to play fast and loose with our understanding of what it means to be a Christian?        For instance, do we say, “God will provide for this mission” while keeping out pocket books closed?   

Jesus then quotes from the Prophet Isaiah:  “These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their heart isn’t in it.  They act like they’re worshipping me, but they don’t mean it.   They just use me as a cover for teaching whatever suits their fancy.”  (Isaiah 29:13)

Jesus tells the crowd (and us today) that it isn’t what goes in that pollutes us,  but what comes out of our mouths that make us unclean.

Today consider each thing you say and ask yourself if this is something Jesus would say.

Prayer:  Immortal and Holy God,  You rightly instruct us in how to live ever faithful to You.  Tell us again and again the way to live in Your glory and praise.  Help us understand  it so we can live to the fullest. And we bring before You this day,  our cares and concerns knowing You will lift them up and take away our burdens.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Many blessings!