105668426907915243 Thursday, Jun 26 2003 

I’m like Jackie, I had all this good stuff to blog about yesterday and I couldn’t get on blogger. Disgusting! My memory doesn’t keep things for over 24 hours.

We are into the long weekend. Jerry is on holidays and I don’t have to work until Wednesday. We might head out to Prince Albert or just hang around Saskatoon.

Jerry and I have been walking in the mornings. I am trying to be more disciplined in my life. Not only have I started walking in the mornings, but I am still off coffee, and I am drinking lots of water. The only difference I have noticed is that I have to make more trips to the bathroom than I used too. I guess that means I just get more exercise. I get it!

I have connected with a lot of great people this week. I had four showers (2 baby and 2 bridal) to attend between Saturday afternoon and Wednesday evening. I made it to all of them. Had a chance to talk to lots of people! I like that!

Summer time it upon us. I am looking forward to reading some books, drinking some delicious ice tea, relax with Jerry, visit with my two nieces Christa and Heather, enjoy our daughter for two weeks in July, enjoy our family reunion in August, enjoy our son and daughter-in-law in August, attend some weddings, hopefully spend some time at the lake, things like that. I am hoping it will be at a little slower pace.

I am learning not to fret about the future. I am standing on these familiar verses:

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart; and don’t lean on YOUR OWN understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge HIM; and HE will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5&6

It’s the part about “not leaning on my own understanding” that gets me. I always try to figure things out on my own. You would think I would know better by now! I happen to be a slow learner!

I was thinking about what Brad Hamm talked about a few weeks ago – that God lives in community – God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit live in community, and they want me to join this community. I need to step into the loop so it is – God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit and Gloria. God wants relationship with me. He wants to live in community with me. Isn’t that amazing! So step into the loop!

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95963048 Monday, Jun 23 2003 

This is Monday and it is a “nightgown” day for me. That means I stay in my nightgown for the WHOLE day. I did some great reading this morning. Nancy Yee had spoken at “The Gathering” a few weeks ago on The Waiting Place. I got a copy of her notes and read them this morning. Brought my perspective back to where it needs to be. Waiting for God’s timing in my life and not to rush the issue. It is always very hard for me to be patient and to wait. However, I have realized over time that it is in the waiting that learning and growing happens. We always feel great when we are accomplishing things for God. The resting and waiting for us who are accomplishers does not come easy. God is good! “Be still and know that I am God”. It is in the stillness and quietness that God speaks to us.

Great day yesterday! Mark Cooper, our godchild, was here for most of the day. He has to be the happiest kid around. He also is a child who listens well. He has lots of energy and keeps your attention. It is so great to have children in our home. Jerry loves kids and Mark has a pretty special place in our hearts. Jordon and Wendy are also special people in our lives. They have become a very integral part of our family.

We also had Claudio and Debra over for brunch. Claudio will begin as our Administration Pastor at Lakeview on August 1st. They were here looking for a house. Unfortunately they were unable to find something. That can be very stressful when you have a family of four children. We’ll have to keep praying that there will be a very specific place for them here in Saskatoon. Anybody out there wanting to sell a house in Saskatoon?

Spent a couple of hours with our friends Mark and Marilyn last night. We have known each other for a long time, but it seems that there just isn’t enough time in our lives to get together. Our children are all adults and you would think it would be easier to connect. It is quite amazing that even if time goes by and you have not seen friends like Mark and Marilyn, you can pick up exactly where you were the last time you spent time with them, and catch up on all the family news. Great visit.

A young man from our Lakeview congregation lost his life by drowning this weekend. A young father of two children with a wonderful wife. We never know what the next day brings. His mother Barb Ashmeade is a wonderful godly woman of faith. Our prayers and sympathies go out to this family. Our hearts are heavy with the loss, but renewed by the hope that we have in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Only Christ can give us the strength and courage to walk this path of sorrow. He promises never to leave us or forsake us! It is at times like this that He carries us.

Darren spoke on Matthew 14 this weekend “A day in the life of Christ”. I read it again this afternoon and was challenged again by what Darren spoke. The getting away alone with the Father as Christ did after he found out that his friend John the Baptist had been beheaded. I believe it was this time alone with the Father that gave him the strength and courage to minister to the people who followed Him by healing and feeding them, even while he mourned. He reached out to the people, but again went to be alone with His Father. This same Father is the Father we can reach out today as well for our strength and courage to live life. Let’s make sure we take time to spend alone with the Father each day. It is all about relationship! We love Him because He first loved us. All we do is respond to Christ and He gives us everything we need for life and for godliness. We cannot do it on our own strength as we so often try to do. We cannot earn any love from God by what we do. He gives it to us freely and unconditionally. How can we help but love Him in return!

95880866 Friday, Jun 20 2003 

I have been struggling with a terrible headache. I am thinking it may have to do with my decision to quit drinking coffee. Now it has been a long time since I have not gone with a couple of cups of coffee a day. When I talk about coffee I am not talking about coloured water, but good strong coffee that makes your hair curl. After talking to a friend the other day about eating healthy (which is often a big problem for me), I decided that the first step would be to eliminate my caffeine intake. Hopefully I will feel better in a couple of days. I couldn’t sleep last night because of my head so I got up at about 2:30 am and took an Excedrin Migraine pill, forgetting that this medication contains caffeine. Guess who was up for the remainder of the night!! Sometimes my brain just doesn’t work especially in the middle of the night.

Brooke dropped in this morning for a visit. Her and Kelly have just returned from the Dominican Republic where they were living for 8 months. Good to hear of how Brooke handled great stress in her life. She has learned a lot. We just don’t appreciate what we have here in Canada. I am often so ungrateful for the amenities we enjoy. She talked about the loud noise in that country with no chance for quietness ever! The freshness of the air! Law and order! Things we just take for granted. Lord, forgive us for our ungrateful hearts.

95851774 Thursday, Jun 19 2003 

Was at a “Women’s Journey of Faith” leadership team meeting this morning at the Queen’s House of Retreats. Queen’s House of Retreats is an awesome place to go for quiet reflection and meditation. A place to get away from the noise and craziness of life. They have wonderful grounds to walk through and it is right along the river. Now getting back to my leadership team meeting. This was the first time that I had met most of the other women involved in this ministry. We started the morning with each of us telling our story about our journey of faith. It was an amazing time! Everybody’s life has taken a different course, but the reality of Jesus Christ in our lives was the common denominator. There is a lot of hurt in people’s lives, that they have had to work through. And it is only through the work of God’s grace in our lives and by the power of the Holy Spirit, that we can move from that hurt and begin to heal. It was a great morning!

“Women’s Journey of Faith” is a women’s conference that happens once a year in Saskatoon. It began three years ago and has grown each year. It is happening again this year on November 1st, 2003 at the Centennial Auditorium in Saskatoon. I have attended one of these conferences and it was amazing.

Tamara is coming home for holidays in July. She has the time off and is flying to Vancouver first. I think she will spend a couple of days with her Uncle Dwight and Aunti Joanne, and cousins Tenaya and Andrew, in Langley, BC, before she heads back to Saskatoon. I talked to her on MSN tonight and she sound excited to be coming home.

It was an extemely hot day today and windy as well. Reminded me of southern Manitoba where I grew up. It was always very hot, very humid, with lots of thunderstorms. We didn’t get the thunderstorm here, but somebody got it, as it has really cooled down. Good night for sleeping!

Darren gave me the book “Tuesdays with Morrie” and I have read about half of it. What a book! It certainly makes you rethink alot of what you think is important. If you want a great read, this is it!

95781059 Wednesday, Jun 18 2003 

Jerry and I were at the lake for a couple of days getting back late Saturday evening. What a great time! Spent it with my sister Doris, her husband, Lorne, and their daughter Christa. The weather was hot with a breeze. Couldn’t have been any better for the beach. We did nothing! Doris, Christa and I sat at the water, reading, or having great conversations about the difference between conformity and unity. So many churches require conformity and don’t understand that christianity is all about unity in diversity. We had great food – Lorne barbacued the most awesome fish! Even I liked it! Lots of ice cream and laughter. Todd and Jena came out on Friday as a surprise for Lorne and Doris. That was fun!

Busy weekend as a Ministry Pastor candidating at Lakeview stayed with us until this morning. Berk spent the weekend as well and Christa came on Monday night. Busy household. Great barbacue Sunday night for Brooke and Kelly who arrived home from the Dominican Republic. Very difficult year for them, but how they have grown. They are awesome kids. It was so good to see BJ. He has the most beautiful eyes! BJ is Brooke’s brother. It felt so good to give him a hug and see his great smile. I need to go for coffee with him and talk about life.

Father’s Day on Sunday. Great time to reflect on my dad and the influence he has had in my life. There is no doubt he has been the greatest influence in my life. So much of who I am today has been built on the spiritual principles he lived by. Dad loved Jesus!

I wish we didn’t have days like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. With those days then come expectations and with expectations comes disappointment. Both Matt and Tamara were not around for this Father’s Day. Jerry is such an awesome dad! He loves his kids and would do absolutely anything for them. But even we as parents have to let go our expectations about our kids. They now make their own decisions and choices. Our deepest desire is that they will respond to the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

We have a wonderful Small Group. Meeting with them again tonight is such a blessing. We can be who we are and not be afraid of being judged. We can differ in our opinions but we can agree to disagree. That is acceptance and freedom in community.

Jerry and I are tired! Must be our age! By the way, it was Cathy Johnson’s and Brooke Graham’s birthday today. It is Elizabeth’s and Sharla’s birthday tomorrow. They are each a day older!!! Had a great coffee with Brooke and Christa today and staff barbacue at Cathy’s this evening. Full day! Also had lunch with Berk – what a great guy. There are just some wonderful people here. We are blest!

95577169 Wednesday, Jun 11 2003 

My day started out the right way this morning. I got to talk to my daughter via MSN. If I hang around home until about 9:30 am I can usually catch her before she goes to bed in Taiwan. She can tell me about her day and how teaching went. It is awesome to be able to communicate like that half way across the world. I do miss her, but she will be home for a couple of weeks in July. She is getting some holidays! I can hardly wait. I am sure all the sales will be on and she can do my shopping for me. Tamara dresses me! She is my fashion conscience! I don’t go into stores without her. I just tag along with her and she picks the clothes for me to try on! I don’t have to make any decisions about what to wear. She makes them for me. You have no idea how that frees me!! I hate shopping and I especially hate shopping for clothes. It is just a waste of my time. First of all I don’t know where to shop! There are so many places to pick from that I just give up. When I get into the store because I never shop, I never know where anything is. I just get frustrated and leave with nothing. So am I glad Tamara is coming home! You bet I am!

There was a neat quote at our Society Meeting last night at Lakeview. It was “It is better to walk together with God in the dark than alone in the light.” When our way gets dark and we can’t see, what a comfort to know that God is there with us. Often when we are walking in the light and we see, we often don’t need the comfort of God with us as we become self reliant. Good thought!

Was at a barbacue tonight with about 70 people. What a wonderful evening! Great food! Great people! Got an opportunity to talk to just about everyone. Each person is so special and unique. What a blessing to connect with all ages as they walk along there spiritual journey. Jerry talked a little tonight and he is just the best. He puts people at ease with his crazy comments! There was a time when I first got to know Jerry that he would have never got up in front of a group of people and talked about anything. Over the years he has learned to be a confident public speaker. Amazing what happens with age!

Jerry and I are heading to our 34th wedding anniversary on June 28th. It is hard to believe that we have that many miles behind us. I wonder how many are still ahead? We better live each day to its fullest!

Jackie, I miss you! Everytime I go by your office I look and you aren’t there. I read on your blog that you are watching the gophers. Only in Caronport, Saskatchewan, would that be the only excitement there is. Just think, only a couple more days and you will be back in exciting Saskatoon. Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

95536809 Wednesday, Jun 11 2003 

My special friend Nancy Yee is being affirmed as a member of our Spiritual Leadership Team at Lakeview. I have seen Nancy grow in her walk with Christ and what an example of servanthood. We talked with Nancy and her husband Tim this evening. We were looking back over the years when Tim was not a Christ follower and how God put him in a Small Group of men who were all passionate for Jesus and reaching out to those who were looking for the missing link in their lives. The Holy Spirit brought conviction to Tim’s heart and he surrendered his life to Christ. Tim has been the Chairperson of our Policy and Administration Team for the past 5 years. He has now stepped down from that place of service and hopefully in the Fall will start a Men’s Small Group.

Nancy has walked with me through many of the difficult times in my life over the past 5 years. She is a woman full of Christ’s wisdom and a woman of great insight. She is a woman of God’s Word and is sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit in her life. She has a passion for people to grow and mature in their Christian faith. Many young women have been mentored and taught by her. She is always honest and straight forward with me. She speaks truth to me in love. What more could I ask from a friend! I hope everyone has a Nancy in their life!

95493022 Tuesday, Jun 10 2003 

Took the day to read a novel. I can’t remember the last time I took a day just to relax and read. I sat in front of our family room windows and in between reading enjoyed watching the adult birds feeding their babies who were just beginning to fly. A good cup of coffee and a good book on a cloudy, cool day is the best.

Spent a wonderful evening with the Coopers. Wonderful food and conversation. Jordon just got back from LA so had much to talk about. Jeb and Sharla were there as well. Great company! Couldn’t figure out who was the biggest boy – Mark or Jerry. They sure do have fun together!

God is Good All the Time!

95448693 Sunday, Jun 8 2003 

We had baptism tonight at Lakeview. This is always a great night as people tell their spiritual journeys. Baptism is an opportunity for people to publicly acknowledge that they are followers of Jesus Christ and want to publicly affirm there commitment to Christ to the body of believers. We had about 15 or 16 people baptized. They are all at different places in their spiritual walk with Christ but Christ has made the difference in their lives. God is amazing!

95422157 Saturday, Jun 7 2003 

Just came back from our evening service. It was communion and great time for reflection, confession, repentence and celebration. The Sacrament of Communion always brings us back to what is most important in life. There is a mystery that takes place during the communion. There was a “filling up” for me because I was running on pretty well empty. “Forever God is Faithful, Forever God is Strong, Forever God is with us, Forever, Forever!” What wonderful promises to encourage us to keep going and to keep walking. As we kneel at the foot of the cross, we owe Christ everything, everything. I need to keep my perspective in the right place.

Held lots of new babies tonight. Phil and Kari Toews baby boy, 7 days olds, Connor Joseph, 7 lbs at birth – he is just beautiful. I held him for a long time! Babies are such miracles. Carrie and Chris were there tonight with their twin boys, Aaron and Tyson, who are both well over 9 pounds. What beautiful little boys. I held Tyson who was looking around and didn’t keep still. Aaron was fast asleep on his dad’s chest. Carrie is a busy young mom. Not finding too much time to eat these days. With an active 2 year old in the house as well, days do keep busy.

Carianne Jacobson is back home from Thetis Island. She is one wonderful young woman. She was accepted into Massage Therapy so will start in the Fall. She is working for her dad again this summer, with a changed attitude she says. It is surprising what a positive attitude will do to our lives.

Miss my kids! Matt and Jesika headed up north to plant trees for a month with no contact with the outside world. They are doing well. They have great people to plant with. Awesome food. Planting huge numbers of trees. Jesika is feeling good. Matt is well. They have even had time to read some books. They plant for 4 days and than have 1 or 2 days off. This is so different from their other planting experiences. They are grateful.

Tamara has had 2 weeks off teaching which has been good. The last time we talked to her she sounded healthy. She needed some time off. She is calling tomorrow morning so will be a little more up to date.

God is good!

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