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Showing posts from August, 2010
Note: A little thing I received by email. :) Belinda P.S. (pardon the llicense in it being signed "God" :))


Never  heard it put quite like this before


RECALL NOTICE:


The Maker of all human beings (GOD) is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due


to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart.


This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units.


This defect has been technically termed "Sub-sequential Internal Non-Morality," or more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed.


Some of the symptoms include:


1. Loss of direction


2. Foul vocal emissions


3. Amnesia of origin


4. Lack of peace and joy


5. Selfish or violent behavior


6. Depression or confusion in the mental component


7. Fearfulness


8. Idolatry


9. Rebellion


The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-aut…

Summer Memories

By Belinda
These photos were taken last Thursday, before I drove our three friends: Chris and Eileen and their daughter Nel, back to the airport after their two week vacation with us.

I thought that you might like to see them!
Also in the photos are Paul (in the photo down below and in the red shirt,) and two of our granddaughters, Tippy and Tori.
On their last day I took our three friends to Cora's (where else?) for breakfast! They were satisfyingly impressed. :) Since Eileen and Nel both work in a swanky 5 star British restaurant, called Artisan,  in Kendal, the Lake District, I was glad that Cora's passed muster.
After the tour of St. Andrew's, I came back home and picked up Tippy and Tori and took them out to Swiss Chalet for lunch as they couldn't fit in the car for our outing to Cora's and the school. I didn't want them to feel like so much leftover luggage so I had to make it up to them.  :)
It hardly seemed possible that two weeks had passed by so quickly a…

Back to School

By Belinda

This is a reworked post from the archives--to help me over a busy time, but also because it is timely!

My memory has a special room where teachers of long ago live. I wonder if they ever imagined such immortality. They are frozen in time in my mind. I can see, hear and feel them vividly; their appearance and personality.

Maybe it's that the mind, eyes and heart of a child are like sponges that absorb impressions and hold onto them more easily than they do in later years!

Teachers all seemed old to my child's mind; even those whom I now realize must have been relatively young. But one who didn't seem old at all was a white haired supply teacher who filled the gap when I was in my last year of elementary school. I can see now that inside this teacher, lived the heart of a child, and we instinctively connected with her. We didn't see the outer shell of a teacher near retirement age, we just saw her soul, She read to us from a book I had never heard of before,…

My Sister 'n' Me

Fridays with Susan...

I'm pretty excited.  My sister's coming next week.  It's been a long time since she slept at my house. Our housekeeping standards are miles apart:  hers being on one side of the tracks and mine definitely on the other! 

Growing up we could hardly stand to be in the same house together let alone share a room.  There were a lot of fights, trust me.  Mostly over me, wearing her clothes without permission or saying something outrageous to one of her friends.  I was a bit of a free spirit, shall we say, and she liked to keep to the rules.  Two-and-a-half years older than me, with a brother sandwiched in between, we had no idea what a blessing God had in mind when he made us "sisters".  It took a while for us to come to that realization.


I remember one night lying side by side, each in our own twin bed in the bedroom with the pink painted walls and two small windows.  Between us a radio sat on the old washstand which our Grandpa Daub had turned i…

The Worst of Times...or the Best?

By Belinda

I was on my way to a meeting and rather late having gone to the wrong location to begin with, when the traffic slowed to a standstill. Up ahead I could see the flashing lights of a police car at the scene of an accident.

Slowly, from far down the line, cars pulled out and turned around, while some waited hopefully to be able to continue on their way. I decided to join those pulling out and find another route. I didn't have time to wait indefinitely.

I followed a car down the next rural route going west, and then turned north, the direction I needed to go in. Across the fields I could see the line up we had been in moments before, standing as still as ever.

The road I was on, ran on a curve though, and a few minutes later, I was practically on the scene of the accident, from a different angle. Clusters of people from the neighbourhood had gathered to watch as firefighters and emergency personnel worked and a news reporter was on the scene with his camera. Obviously th…

The T Shirt

Today I received this email from a friend named Debbie, who added some detail to my post Reading T Shirts.

I tried to post the video but couldn't make it work. If you click the link though, it will take you the website for Cross Trainers, and a video that tells you what the man in my line up at the grocery store had been involved in that week. It was August 21st on Saturday, so the project they refer to in the video would have been almost completed. I think the work they are doing is faith in action.

Kudos to Cross Trainers--although I know that they are doing it...in His strength; for His glory!

Hi Belinda,
I wanted to give you a bit of background information regarding the T-shirt with 1Peter 4:11 on it. There was a week-long "manor makeover" mission that took place in Bradford at Bradford Manor. I wanted to paste the information video but it didn't have its own link so I am giving you the website link instead.

http://www.ctministries.ca/#/crosstrainers/ct-calendar

Th…

Living Room

By Belinda


There was a winter storm on the way and on the morning radio show there was a segment on safe winter driving.

A driving instructor mentioned that he teaches his students to always maintain space between themselves and the cars around them. He called this, “Living Room."

That Living Room was the space between safety and catastrophe; a buffer zone.

We live in a world that pressures us to use every minute, cram activity into every space. Fill every void in conversation with words. We need a buffer zone; a Living Room.

One day, Susan was over at my place and we just sat quietly side by side in wing backed arm chairs. Usually we have no end of things to talk about, but on this occasion a peaceful silence descended like snow on a winter's night. I must have worried a bit that I was boring her out of her mind, because she later wrote this:

You don't have to feel any pressure at all to fill in those quiet spots. Do you know what it's like to spend a few weeks every…

Reading T Shirts

By Belinda

Our friends and house guests had left for a day of sight seeing, saying that they would be home late, but in time for supper. I had a much needed "catch up day!"

I love people, but I need solitude and thinking time like a tire needs air, so I politely declined their kind invitation to join them and they politely understood that I would go a little loopy if I went along.

Over a cup of coffee I scanned the advertising flyers from the local newspaper and left the house armed with a list and a coupon. I didn't have many things to get; my shopping would be strategic. Paul had called to say he'd be home in the late afternoon, and after three weeks with him away, I wanted to be home when he arrived.

After popping into Canadian Tire and getting one or two things on sale, my next stop was Sobey's, the grocery store. I had only two items on my list there--beef tenderloin (half price,) and Kraft Peanut butter--two for $5.00.

It was Saturday, and there were som…

Limping or Not, I'm Crossing that Line!

by Susan

It was one of the most poignant videos I have ever seen. You really have to see it for yourself. If you are anything like me, you'd better get the kleenex out. This is a story about a real-life son and his dad, but I saw it as an insight into a much bigger picture... our relationship with God.

http://www.godtube.com/featured/video/never-give-life

I wasn't able to embed this one, but I hope you'll take the time to watch it on Youtube by clicking on the link above...

Notice in the video how the son's weakness actually glorifies the father... The father was in the stands watching his son, one of a thousand faces in the crowd. Had there been no injury the father woud have happily stayed in the background and enjoyed watching his son cross the finish line the winner, cheering only from afar.

If in fact the young man had won the race that day as had been fully expected, you would not be watcing the video today. It would have had very little impact at all. It would h…

Trust Him with the Pieces

...by Susan (with a lot of help from Selah)

I had listened to this song a dozen times before the words hit me today. Funny how you can tune your ears to hear things in the valley of suffering that would go right over your head most any other time.

Believing that God is working everything together for good is an easy thing to believe and to proclaim when the road is smooth and there are no obstacles in sight. But when God allows the circumstances in our lives to heat up and boil over, it can suddenly become very difficult to accept that he knows exactly what he's doing and has it all under control. These words of Life, favourite scriptures of my Mom's too, once again brought comfort through some huge challenges this week:

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NASB)

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm…

Let the Chips Fall

Note from Belinda
I am enjoying the company of friends in our home this week and next, with a week's break, and then Paul's uncle and cousin come to stay for another two weeks. Writing here may be a little sporadic as I'm finding it hard to focus--and people have to come first. :)

In keeping with my writer's block, here is a post from Susan, written in January 2008. It made me feel better about my blank brain. I love it. Thank you Susan.

By Susan

What's the matter with me? Why can't I write ANYTHING?

Is this what writer's block is? It must be.

I think about what I've read in my bible the last few days - how the Father has distilled certain parts of it into pure spiritual water washing over me, cleansing my sullied heart and mind. I think about all the profound teaching in the last two weeks from a number of different sources and how I heard his voice through it many, many times, bringing enlightement and peace to some dark places in my heart. I remember…

Whatever

We have house guests at the moment who I love, but who are distracting! :) So I give thanks to my friend Jane, who shared this reflection with me and gave permission to pass it on! By Jane Archer

I have been reflecting on some notes that I took at an Easter Sunday morning service. I do not know who preached this message entitled, “Whatever God” but he spoke of many characters in the Bible who basically said … “Whatever God.”

Here are a few:
Abraham who was willing to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22); Jeremiah saying, “The Lord sent me …” (Jeremiah 26:12); Isaiah’s calling, “Then (Isaiah) heard the voice of the Lord saying … Go and tell this people …” (Isaiah 6:8-9); Esther who said, “And if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16). He then went on to speak of Hosea who was willing to marry a prostitute, Paul who was willing to suffer, Jesus who endured the cross, John and the Isle of Patmos, Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego, Job and last, but not least, Joseph, who said, “You (his brothers) int…

Things I have heard

By Belinda

This morning a post based on a previous post from 2007, which I hope makes you smile as it did me, when I reread it:

Although I talk far too much, I really do prefer listening and often find myself reaching for a pen to write down something funny, wise, or thought provoking, that someone else has said.

I thought it would be fun to start the week by sharing a few things I have heard; wise and funny; ending with a quote from the book of Luke that makes me laugh every time I read it--God has the best humour.

"We are all "under the gun"--in a very positive way, as far as guns go."

“Is everybody in the right place? My father once went to Miami when he meant to go to New York. He thought the flight was rather long.”

(I appreciated this since I once joined the wrong meeting, which quickly became apparent when introductions were made and everyone was from a different field of work to me)

“I assume we’re not here to maintain status quo.” (I think that just stru…

A Call to Worship

Song of Solomon 8:6-7 (New International Version)

6 Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy [a] unyielding as the grave. [b]
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame. [c]

7 Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot wash it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of his house for love,
it [d] would be utterly scorned.



Musings in the Arrivals Area

By Belinda

I drove towards Lester B. Pearson airport to meet friends from England, praying my way through the rush hour traffic and potential wrong lane changes.

Overhead in a cloudless blue sky a plane drifted steadily upward, arrow-like, angled toward heaven. Its journey seemed lazily peaceful and solitary in contrast to the busy concrete expressway below.

At the Arrivals area in Terminal 3, I scanned the screen of incoming flights: Amsterdam; Cathay; Helsinki; Montego Bay and Port of Spain--my mind went to those places. I saw that my friends' flight from the less exotic Manchester had landed just 20 minutes earlier. I guessed that it would take them at least another half hour to get through customs, but although I had brought a book to read in case the plane was delayed, there was no way I could focus on reading. What if I missed that moment when the doors parted and they came through, eyes searching the crowd for mine?

The doors opened periodically and burped another small s…

Making a Difference

Fridays with Susan...

The first time I heard, or rather "read", "words hurt like a fist" was on a little card that my friend Dave (and avid blog-follower of Whatever He Says) handed out at a rights presentation he was giving for those with disabilities and their caregivers.  The agency he works for had begun a campaign (initiated by him) to stamp out the "r" word, because it is a word that has a long history of hurting people. 

I read on facebook this week a really bad comment.  Because it was made by someone, a generation behind me, whom I love very much, and want to preserve relationship with in the long run, I hesitated.  But in an effort to be funny, he made a very negative reference to people with developmental disabilities, even going so far as to say something about making fun of them.  He used the "r" word, and without batting an eye.

I hesitated, but only for a minute.  Sometimes it's hard to say something because you just don'…

On A Corner in Memphis

Down below is another Janet Sketchley song recommendation and I love it.

Let it soak into your heart and soul as it did to mine. Somehow it says exactly what God is saying to me right now. Something profound is happening in me;  if it didn't have such negative connotations I would say that I am being radicalized. 

I love the question across the top of Todd Agnew's shirt, "What if Jesus meant everything he said?" Yes, what if he did?

There is such a contrast in the song between the motions we go through in church and the reality we would break through to if we broke out of the expected pattern; between the much we have and the little others have.

Like tonight, as I talked to Paul on the phone. He is far away on a northern First nations reserve, just being with people, and immersed in a totally different reality to where we live.

I am in the last throes of preparations for friends from England who arrive tomorrow. I told Paul I was moving my stuff from one bathroom t…

Who Knew?

By Belinda

Two separate parts of my psyche are constantly at war. One half of me gives the impression of being organized, but I have an alter ego that sprouts piles of paper like a pumpkins in a pumkin patch.

I love organizational tools that help keep the "messy me" at bay.

When a flyer arrived with the weekly newspaper, announcing the open of a new Solutions Store in nearby Newmarket I could not wait to pay them a visit.

They advertise themselves as being, "Your Organized Living Store."  Well, the promise of "organized living" is a hook that will reel me in every time.

So on Saturday, I went, and was not disappointed. It was hard to not get completely carried away with all of the amazing tools there. One thing I splurged on was a new lunch bag in a beautiful turquoise blue. They were on sale, 20% off, and I rationalized the purchase by thinking of all the money I save each week by making my lunch faithfully every day. It was time to retire my old faithf…

My Jesus

Wow, my friend Janet over at God With Us: Finding Joy left a comment on Monday's post saying that it reminded her of Todd Agnew's song: My Jesus.

I hadn't heard the song but I always love Janet's choice of music on her blog, so I listened to it. Now I know what she meant. Yes, this is exactly what God was saying to my heart. I echo Todd's words at the end of the song: "My Jesus, I want to be like my Jesus."

The Top Ten List of Things Not to Do

By Belinda

My friend's uncle was a Buddhist and prominent in his community, so when he died recently, the memorial service she and her family attended was a large one, with over 300 people in attendance.

When they arrived, she and her sister were briefed, with other family members, on the protocol of a Buddhist memorial service.

At the front of the room was a large incense urn. Behind it they could see a statue of a god. To the right was a photo of her uncle.

The man instructing them said that at a certain point in the service, the family would file to the front, put some incense into the urn, bow from the waist and then turn and bow to the photograph of their deceased family member.

Alarm bells were going off for my friend and she and her sister looked at each other, then said to their guide, "We can't do the first bow, we're Christians."

"Oh, it's nothing," said the man (I'll call him Barry,) "I used to be a Christian too, until 1990. T…

Jesus Offends Me

By Belinda

If Jesus were present in the flesh, here and now, I wonder if he would offend me? I think he might.

Would he offend the Church?

Would he say things like " 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' ?

He said that once before to church people (Matthew 15:8-9 (New International Version)) and he might well say it to me.

I wonder if we would be challenged by his physical presence among us? Would he feel at home in the place we call "church?"

Would he say, "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks?"

He said that to a nominal believer once, long ago (John 4:23 (New International Version))  Do I really know what he meant by "worship in spirit and in truth?"

Have I fully grasped Truth in my faith life?

Would I even use th…

Heart of Gold

By Belinda

Beneath the  fur beats a heart of solid gold.

It is a contented heart, that asks only for a human friend to walk beside.I thank God often for the gift that he is to our household.

A weekend spent alone, just we two, and suddenly I am conscious of how often I move from room to room as  he moves with me around the house.

I make a dent in the long list of chores I planned to accomplish. One oven and two fridges are clean. It is time to go and visit a friend.

Molson hops into the backseat of the car. A pretty gift bag with green leaves, lilac flowers and with matching tissue sits in the front. We have a 75th birthday to acknowledge and celebrate.

We find our way through a maze of hallways to her cosy room. Dolls line the shelves and everything is tidy and in place. Her back is towards the door and she is watching a movie. At our entrance her eyes sparkle with delight and surprise. "It's you!" she says.

We have time for a walk before supper is ready and I push her…

Getting Back Up

Fridays with Susan...

I've had occasion of late to think a lot about "failure", especially in the last few days.  More than occasion.  I was just about to say "God dropped  me into the middle of a situation..." but that wouldn't be very accurate.  Truth is, I concocted my own recipe for failure.  I chose the course that would lead me there, I adopted the fatal attitude, I ignored the signs along the way.  And then "suddenly", the dominoes began to fall.  I was hoping they would stop falling a lot earlier, but no, when God takes us through the valley of the shadow of death-to-self, he doesn't go halfway.  He did an excellent job of exposing what needed to come out in order for me to become that much more conformed  to his image.  Painful?  You bet.  Because this time it was a cause of hurt to others and put those dear people in situations which were difficult too.  Am I going to confess my sins here?  I think I just did.  The details of the sit…

Dad on Sam

By Belinda

When Mum's cat Sam died in 2008, I wrote about him here: In Memory of Sam.

He loved only Mum. I would always give him a wide berth but Dad persisted in "making overtures;" stroking him against his will with big, heavy hands. Sam didn't do overtures.

When lost in my letters last night, I reread a letter from Dad where he mentions Sam, with whom he was sharing the house while Mum was in Canada on vacation. Here's Dad again:

Dear Paul, Belinda, Mom and Family,As I write, it's a lovely day as only England can be at its best.Mom has been gone a week and five days and of course I miss her very much!I know now what solitary confinement must be like! And what's more the dratted cat at the start, didn't like it either. He ignored me completely for a time, until, that is, he felt hungry and decided he had better be friendly. So of course I fed him, and have continued to do so umpteen times a day ever since. He must have worms.Ah, he's just come …

Letters

By Belinda

I meant to go upstairs and continue tidying for an hour this evening after supper, but I picked up the two binders of letters that I so carefully sorted last winter--and I opened them. Immediately I was lost, in page after page of letters written at different times in our lives; some by people long gone. On the page their voices came alive.

There were letters from my dad; articulate and funny, and sometimes, if he wrote them after a trip to the pub, pouring out inner pain, but telling me not to quote scripture when I wrote back.

In front of one binder I have typed out a quote, which I unfortunately cannot find the author of:
There are many kinds of letters, including the obligatory and those you can't wait to sit down and write. In letters you explore the landscape of your soul and reveal it to a friend. Relating external events is fine and dandy, but is merely the ever-changing framework for another work of art being patiently completed within you. It takes courage and …

Journal

By Belinda

I have been following the journalling pattern laid out by Bill Hybels in his book, Honest to God , which I reread parts of regularly.

When I say, "following," I use that term loosely, for the truth is that I have done it infrequently. But every time I do follow the pattern, I find it helpful and spiritually challenging.

The process starts with the word, "Yesterday...." and reflecting on a moment, a conversation or one thing that happened.

Next come Adoration; Confession; Thanksgiving and then Supplication.

Here is my journal for today.

Yesterday...I entered the world of children at Pete and Sue's house.

While they prepared souvlaki, corn on the cob, tsatsiki and roasted miniature potatoes, my second eldest granddaughter took me to her room and introduced me to her hamster, Catnip, who recently lived up to her name in a near personal tragedy.

She escaped from a cage with a faulty latch and, after brief moments of heady freedom, she experienced horro…

The Shelter of Family

By Belinda

It was about two months ago that Paul said that he would be gone for the month of August to Mishkeegogamang, a reserve 1000 kilometers north. Although since then the timeframe has been reduced slightly, to about three weeks,leaving this acre of land and a household with endless tasks, grew increasingly hard as his departure last week approached. He drove himself to near exhaustion, weeding gardens, mowing grass and finishing jobs around the house until the last minute.

As well, there was much to do to get ready for the long drive north, and supplies of clothing, toys and food to help gather for a community of people with little in the way of material goods. What is available to buy up there costs much more than here.

The day before he left, Tippy came upstairs looking for a toilet plunger; never a good sign. Paul went downstairs to their apartment to rescue the three Damsels in Distress.

One of Paul's defining characteristics is his burden to make sure that all of his…

I Bless Your Name

This morning we sang this song as a worship team in church, led by Frances with her beautiful voice. It's not a new song but it was new to us and I just love it. Had to share it here.