89927862 Friday, Feb 28 2003 

I just finished by paper for the class I took from Dr. Sanders and sent it to him via email. What a relief! Now I just have to read my two Wesleyan theology books and write a paper on each of those. I don’t know why I do this to myself! At my age I should be in Hawaii sitting on the beach sipping “Marguaritas”. Oh right, I forgot, I meant lemonade!

Something I have been pondering lately is how can we help the people who live with or walk alongside people who are struggling from depression. Being a person who struggles with depression myself, I am not sure how to answer that. I believe that in some ways every situation is different. I just know that my sister Doris phoned me every morning and every evening to make sure I was okay. She always told me that I would get better, but it would take time. As she had experienced depression herself, she gave me hope. As I read through my journal entries during that time, they are a very “dark” read. I did come through it, but know that I will probably struggle with it again and again.

It is so amazing that the sun is still up and shining until 6:30 or so. What a difference it makes! Sunshine makes me happy!

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89761582 Wednesday, Feb 26 2003 

I have had a “down” day. Things just don’t seem the same anymore. Everything changes and it seems that no one even notices that change has happened. We just go on with our lives as if nothing has happened. Makes me sad!

I do love Jackie Reimche’s blog, especially the light purple color, because it takes me double the time to read it. Why can’t she make the background a dark blue or something like that so it would be easier to read! Jordon, I think you need to give her some assistance.

We received a loooooong email from Tamara today. I just miss that girl so much. I can’t figure out why kids have to move so far away from their parents. We are nice people, I think. It would be so nice if we could just connect for a good cup of coffee and a good talk.

It’s John Campea’s birthday. I believe he’s something like 35 or so. Send him a card or give him a call. I am sure he would appreciate your sympathies considering his age! Happy Birthday John! May you have many more!

89692985 Monday, Feb 24 2003 

I am back home. Jerry and I had a wonderful time with Matt and Jesika. They are the best kids. We just hung out and didn’t do much of anything. We walked in the new fallen snow, which was awesome. We went to an Irish Pub in Banff on Friday night for supper. The food was absolutely delicious and the atmosphere was the best. We then took in a movie The Story of David Gale (I think that is the title). It wasn’t bad. I had no idea how it would end, but apparently I was the only one who didn’t get it.

We drove to Calgary on Saturday morning and went to a “hotrod” car show in Calgary. Jerry has this old ’33 Ford that he wants to fix up, so he talked to different people about what he should be doing and how much it is going to cost. It was fun. I just stood around and watched the people. I really enjoyed the cars from the 50s and 60s. I remember the cars my dad drove and it was fun seeing cars like his all fixed up.

We spent Saturday night and Sunday with my niece Heather and her husband Greg. They are a wonderful couple and we just relaxed. It is so great to have relatives as friends. They came to hear me preach on Sunday. It went well. I also had the opportunity to lead Communion with Pastor Rob. All in all, it was a great weekend. We drove home today and I had no energy. Really tired.

Received an email from Tamara, and she has been teaching this past week. She must be really busy as we don’t hear from her too much. I guess no news is good news. She talked to Matt today on MSN and apparently she is getting a scooter tomorrow.

My brother Ron became a granddad on Saturday. Joy and Aleph, my niece and her husband, had a baby boy on Saturday.

89400874 Wednesday, Feb 19 2003 

Ryan Bayda got his first NHL goal last night playing against Toronto. That is so awesome! It is hard to believe that this little guy who used to come over all the time to play is grown up and playing in the NHL. Time passes so quickly.

Jerry and I are heading out to Canmore, Alberta tomorrow afternoon to spend Friday with Matt and Jesika. They both have the day off which is really nice. I am not sure what we will do, but we always have a fun time with our kids. We love being together with them and hopefully the feeling is mutual. They are our kids, but they are also great friends.

On Sunday I will be speaking at the Calgary Free Methodist Church. I have always been passionate about people serving or working in positions that reflect who they are. Who we are, should dictate what we do. We so often slot people and don’t take the time to find out what they are really passionate about and how they are “wired”. I teach a class that assists people to find out their S.H.A.P.E. We have teaching and assessment tools that give people the opportunity to find out their SPIRITUAL GIFTS; HEART (Passion); ABILITIES; PERSONALITY; and EXPERIENCES. With this information we do a interview process, where each person who has completed the assessment tools sits down with another person to find out what serving opportunities would best suit them. I have done about 200 such interviews, and each one is just so rewarding. Many people have never had someone take the time to listen to their spiritual journey or taken the time to find out what they would be best at. The biggest reward is to see people excited about how God has put them together and realize that God does not compare them to anyone else. God is not in the comparison game. He sees each one of us with “tunnel vision”. God is not in the business of “cloning”. He is in the business of creating each one of us unique and special. We are “His Masterpiece” and “His Workmanship”. I better stop here, as this is what my message is all about.

Tamara started her teaching job on Wednesday, which is our Tuesday. We haven’t heard any news, so we are going on the premise that no news is good news. Tamara has a wonderful way with children and I am sure they will love her from day one.

89338655 Tuesday, Feb 18 2003 

89338288 Tuesday, Feb 18 2003 

I need to correct my information on Ryan Bayda – he did not score a goal but did get an assist. We still are proud of him!

89316728 Tuesday, Feb 18 2003 

I received a call from our son Matt who was so excited because a good friend who he had gone to school with and played hockey with in Saskatoon, Ryan Bayda, was called up to the NHL for the Carolina team, had played two games and scored his first NHL goal against Washington. Way to go Ryan! His family lives in Saskatoon, Gord and Bonnie Bayda, good friends and wonderful people. We are both excited for and proud of Ryan.

89316403 Tuesday, Feb 18 2003 

Yesterday was a full day with the funeral of Sherry Friesen’s dad, Vern Epp. Vern was born and grew up in the community around the small town of Laird, Saskatchewan. He loved his town and the farming community and did much over the years in supporting both.

The whole service was a tribute to a man who valued trust, honesty and integrity. A man who lived hard and laughed hard. A man who loved his wife passionately; his children unconditionally; and his grandchildren enthusiastically. A man who was valued by friends and the community. A man who loved God in not the traditional way, but genuinely from the heart. A man who was not afraid to face death and to meet it head on together with his wife and family. A man who left behind a life of character and integrity, but little in the way of material things. All his children, including their spouses, took part in the service, sharing how their dad had influenced their lives. Here is part of his eulogy:

“Vern was a fan of life. He loved driving and looking at crops with Curt, Pete, and other friends. He loved Dore Lake, spending time fishing with family and friends. His smile shone brightest whenever he saw his grandkids. He was so proud of them and loved them intensely. He loved being with people, and could make a friend in minutes. Vern will be remembered for his great sense of humour, his infectious laugh, and for the example of trust, honesty, and integrity that was the focus of his life. Vern touched many lives and we will all miss him dearly.”

His daughter Sherryl gave her dad a card this passed Christmas with the following verse, which I believe sums up how we should all live our lives.

“To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a wheat field . . . to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” – Emerson

89175020 Saturday, Feb 15 2003 

Tamara has a teaching job in Taiwan. She starts this week. Way to go Tamara! She is the best. I really miss her – I was lamenting today why she needs to be half way around the world. It would be nice if she was closer. Just a poor mom feeling sorry for herself!!! Matt and Jesika are home and they had a wonderful time in Seattle. The David Gray concert was absolutely great (so Matt said). They really enjoyed Seattle. It is always invigorating talking to Matt. He is a learner and he loves reading – Thomas Merton; Andrew Murray; C.S. Lewis; Tolkien; Orson Scott Card; good stuff. Jesika is also a learner and a reader. They make a wonderful pair. They are awesome!! We’ll be seeing them on Thursday night and we’ll be spending Friday with them in Canmore.

We had a great time yesterday celebrating Valentine’s Day having supper with Lorne and Doris; and Kathy with some of her friends. We had an absolutely wonderful meal in Dalmeny cooked by Jocelyn, a good friend of Kathy’s. We came home totally stuffed. Good table conversation – always is with Lorne and Doris and Jerry. Is there progressive salvation? Are we controlled by our possessions? Would we sell everything and live in an one bedroom apartment? Do we live an extravagant lifestyle? What is extravagant? Compared to what and who? But we always laugh hard and lots. That is the best, having your family also being your best friends and enjoying time together. What a blessing!

89110844 Friday, Feb 14 2003 

Jerry and I travelled out to Laird yesterday to visit with the Epp family. Vern Epp, husband and dad, passed away on Monday night at the age of 58. Darren and Sherryl Friesen who are part of Lakeview, are very good friends and Vern was Sherryl’s dad. It was good to be in their home and spend time with Irene, Sherryl, Curt, Tammy, Michelle, and other friends of the family. There was a real sense of community and caring there. There is something about living in a small community all your life. Your lives become very intertwined with each other. It was great to sit down with Irene and her two daughters, Sherryl and Michelle. It was so neat to listen to Sherryl and Michelle as they recalled different incidents from their growing up years. One of the things they talked about was how their dad, Vern, trusted them. Trust from a parent is such a huge thing. It tells the child that their dad believes in them and trusts them to make the right choices. The dad is not trying to control his children, but encouraging them to put into practice the values and principles he has taught them. My dad was the same. What a wonderful gift!

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