105970812546302110 Thursday, Jul 31 2003 

Great day today. Had a great coffee with Tom this morning. We have been busy at work getting offices ready for our two new pastors who start work tomorrow. Cathy, Bob, Shelby and Jeb put everything together and it looks great. There computers are up and running, their desks have their supplies in them. They have chairs to sit in. It is the usual practice at Lakeview that when new staff arrive that they have to wait at least a couple of weeks before they have a desk, chair and an office and usually a few months for a computer. We changed that this time. This time we are ready.

I talked to Claudio and their family came safely across the border and so did their furniture being trucked here by Ron Hindmarsh. No problem at the border for Ron either so we are very thankful. Claudio, Debra and their four children have moved from Texas. They are now official Saskatoonians! They have purchased a house on Whitewood Road and are moving in tomorrow at 5:00 pm.

Claudio is our new Administration Pastor and Brad is our new Ministry Pastor. I am really excited about them coming. This is a brand new era for Lakeview and it is going to be great! One thing is constant at Lakeview and that is change.

Having a turkey supper for Tamara and some of her friends tomorrow evening. Should be fun. I am really looking forward to that. It is always fun having lots of people around especially when they are the younger generation.

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105963221821551952 Thursday, Jul 31 2003 

I went for coffee last night with two wonderful young women who have become very good friends, Carrie Church and Twila Richter. We went to City Perk. They have a great deck where you can sit outside. That was wonderful until those silly birds came around and wouldn’t leave us alone. Obviously they are not afraid of people, however, I am not necessarily the best friend of birds. They freak me out. I am always afraid they are going to “park” on my shoulder or head. Needless to say even after threating them by saying I would throw my purse at them or would “fork” them, we moved inside as these little pests would not stay in the sky!

We had a great time. We talked about serious things of life but we also talked about less serious things, like, some of the thoughts we have or some of things we think about. We had some awesome laughs! Laughs about things only good friends would talk about and laugh about!! It was a great time.

I am so blessed to have many good friends. They enrich my life and truly make living worthwhile.

Tonight I had coffee with my good friend Mavis. This time we went to Joe Bean’s and sat inside. I had enough trauma in my life with the birds last night! Mavis is my neighbour and over the years we have become good friends. We both struggle with depression and can walk alongside each other on the days that things aren’t the greatest. I was able to walk alongside Mavis this time and hopefully with our time together gave her some encouragement and hope for tomorrow.

However, our greatest hope is found in the person of Jesus Christ. The hope that comes from being his is what keeps us looking up! God the Holy Spirit indwells us and gives us the strength to carry on each day. We are blessed.

I also had lunch with my good friend Jordon Cooper. With Jordon you always cover many topics. He is interested in all facets of life and can speak on many different subjects. I was talking to my son Matt tonight and discussing some of the things I had been talking with Jordon about. I see the same interest in Matt. He is interested in learning about life, globalization, international affairs, politics, sports, and spirituality. My dad was very much the same. He could talk about pretty well any subject. He was well-read in his day and was an avid learner. However, his favorite subject was the person and claims of Jesus Christ. Dad left us a wonderful legacy. I see many of these same traits in his grandson Matt.

105945974225838219 Tuesday, Jul 29 2003 

Great breakfast with Mike, Sandy and Emma. We ate out on the deck – it was a warm but beautiful morning. Emma has to be the funniest. What a sweetie! It was great for Tamara to spend some time with her friends. It was great to have them in our home. Friends are special.

Tamara and Jerry are heading to Waskesiu tomorrow morning. They will spend a couple of days with Lorne and Doris. It will be a good opportunity for Tamara to connect with her Aunt Doris, who is very special in her life. Family is very important to Tamara and so this holiday has been about her family. The only sad part is that she will not be able to see Matt and Jesika. We are looking forward to Christmas where we all hope to connect in Asia.

Tamara has matured into a very wise young woman. We are very proud of her.

105937437347085067 Monday, Jul 28 2003 

I couldn’t publish this last night so hopefully it will go through.

This was a great weekend! The weather was beautiful and there was no rushing! We have cleared our agenda while Tamara is home and it has been very relaxing. Friday Jerry and Tamara did some banking and I had coffee with my friend Kelly. Tamara had her hair cut on Friday afternoon and for supper we headed over to spend the evening with Kelly and Brooke, Ben and Kirsten, and Donna. We had a great time. The steaks were delicious! We went to Jerry’s for dessert – which was awesome! We spent a great time around a big fire just talking and laughing! Brooke had some funny jokes!! Great day spent with family and friends.

Saturday morning we went for breakfast to the Berry Barn with some friends from Calgary. We were neighbours when we lived in Brandon and formed a great friendship. Beautiful morning having breakfast by the river. Super time just visiting and catching up on news and family. Randy and Carol were on their way to a wedding in Humboldt in the afternoon. Keeping in touch with friends from “way back when” becomes more important as we move along in life. We never know what tomorrow will bring. We just kind of hung around on Saturday afternoon, watched a movie “The Recruit” – which was good – held our attention – then drove out to Valley Road to have a game of miniature golf and finish off with some ice cream. It just doesn’t get better! Than Matt and Jesika called from Hay River, Alberta, as they had a day off from planting trees. They have 15 days of planting left and then they are free!!!

Today we spent the better part of the day at Spiritwood. We have always wanted to drive up to Spiritwood to be part of the Free Methodist Church service where Jordon and Wendy pastor. This weekend was Spiritwood’s Fair weekend so we ended up in a “Big Tent” meeting with country music and great preaching by Pastor Cooper. I loved the setting. It took we back to the 1950s growing up. Tent services, sitting on wooden benches, hot summer day, breeze blowing through the tent whipping papers off the music stands. It was great! The country songs sung were all ones I knew and had grown up with. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Really enjoyed Coop’s message this morning. He talked about how God takes “trash” and makes it into “treasure”. God takes the things that are foolishness to man and in His Kingdom makes them into something beautiful and of great worth. We are all of great worth because of the work of Christ in our lives. He sees the greatness in all of us and brings it to light. I thought it was a great way to show to all present that God finds something beautiful in all of us. We just need to let Him work in our lives and change us.

Mark loved Tamara and spent the whole morning with her. Children have always been very attracted to Tamara as she has a very special way with children. We spent lunch with the Coopers and had a great time. Small town restaurants are the best! The food was awesome and lots of it. As we headed back to Saskatoon Tamara took a nap to recover from all the activity with Mark. It also had been very hot outside. Mark slept on the way home as well.

Jordon and Wendy gave us a tour of the Lakeland Community Church. What a great place! There is just a sense of something special when you enter the church. God has used Jordon and Wendy to build His Kingdom in Spiritwood. When Jordon began ministry in Spiritwood they were in the process of looking at closing the church down. It is amazing what God does through us ordinary people. Jordon has brought a sense of purpose and direction to these people. Most of all I believe through the work of the Holy Spirit these people began to feel valued again and to believe in themselves and what God could do through them. It did not happen overnight, but has been a slow but steady process. It is exciting to hear about the changed lives in that community brought about through the work of Christ in that local church!

This evening was spent with some of the people from the Worship Freehouse. We had a picnic at Kinsmen Park. What a great time! The weather was absolutely amazing and just to spend an evening in the park with no agenda was absolutely wonderful. Great time was had by all. I got to see Cathy Johnson’s tatoo – amazing!

Well it looks like I had alot to talk about. God is good! I am learning to enjoy each day and to be thankful for each blessing that comes my way. It is so good to have Tamara home. Having her home is not necessarily stress free – but it is good.

Pray for my good friend Kelly that God will give her wisdom and direction in the days ahead. Thanks.

Mike, Sandy and Emma are coming over for breakfast tomorrow morning. It should be awesome. Tamara has brought some cute things from Taiwan for Emma. Should be fun watching her.

105909578679551180 Thursday, Jul 24 2003 

Tamara is home! She arrived last night at 11:30 pm. Jerry went to Edmonton to pick her up. She looks great! It was wonderful to hug her. The next couple weeks will be given over to her agenda. That always makes life interesting around here. We already were shopping today. Everything is on sale. Her suitcase is already full from her shopping expeditions into Bellingham, Washington, with her Aunti Joanne and Cousin Tenaya. Some great stuff.

Jerry and I also were part of the “blogger” party at Jordon and Wendy’s. It appears that we left too early. All the fun seemed to happen after our departure. It was great to see the actual faces that are behind the bloggers. It was a great evening. Muchly enjoyed. Thanks Jordon and Wendy for your great gift of hospitality.

Have just been slowing down and making life much more likeable. Great quote from The Contemplative Pastor on Jordon’s blog. It certainly speaks the truth. Those of us who pastor can be caught up in the success of “busy”. The more busy we become the more successful we feel or think we are. We are believing the lie. Let’s be still and know that He is God or let’s be still until we know that He is God.

I have been contemplating and giving thanks for all the wonderful people I have in my life. I know without a shadow of a doubt that there are friends that I could call and they would immediately be there for me. Many of these people are called the “church” – Christfollowers. What a privilege to have sojourners on this journey of life. Love you all!

105841669329249740 Wednesday, Jul 16 2003 

Life has been busy but good. Have been struggling lately with what I will call “self absorption”. Feeling very stressed about life in general which was actually affecting my health. Went to see my doctor and as we reviewed some of the results from my last full physical – I realized that I was actually healthy. So why was I feeling so tired?

My ladder of inference in my mind was reverting back to some bad thinking habits I picked up over my lifetime of living. It is quite amazing how I can be “hoodwinked” again into those thinking patterns. The thinking patterns are all about “me” and revolving around “my” life.

I went to visit my good friend Pat in the hospital and I asked her what her favorite book of the Bible was and she answered “Romans”. I told her the next time I was up to visit her I would bring my Bible and would read with her. I hadn’t been into Romans for awhile and what a great eye opener Romans 8 was to me.

How I think affects everything in me and around me. So what does Romans 8 says? This is what I read in verses 5 & 6:

Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace.

So my mind had been going round and round with situations, people, circumstances, events, unfairness (in my mind), worrying about the future, all things that bind me to this earth. Was I thinking thoughts that were pleasing the Holy Spirit? I think not!!

Colossians 3: 1 & 2 says:

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honour and power. Let Heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.

I can get so bound up with what is happening here on earth that my perspective gets off kelter. I forget that the greatest wisdom of humans, is foolishness to God. It is only when I keep my eyes on Christ do I keep my perspective in the right place.

I will end with this from Romans 8:35-39

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean that he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity or are persecuted or cold or in danger or threatened with death? No, despite all these things overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What wonderful promises!! That is my sermon for today!!

105798718567229011 Saturday, Jul 12 2003 

Great day today! Beautiful day outside and was able to read the newspaper this morning on the deck with a good cup of tea (Cathy Johnson will appreciate that). My nieces Heather and Christa arrived for lunch. It was so good to see them. They were on their way back to Edmonton. They had been visiting their parents in Prince Albert. Heather is expecting a baby on September 12th so it was fun to see her pregnant! As they left today, I remembered as if it was just yesterday how they were newborns themselves and how quickly time has passed. We remenieced about our holidays together and the time we spent together as families when the kids were growing up. Great memories!

I went and had my hair cut today with my good friend Carla. We always have great conversations together and it is always fun to talk. Kevin and Carla have a real ministry through their Small Group. They are the pastors of this group of people and they take that very seriously as a calling. That is how the church should function. Groups of people meeting together to learn, pray, laugh lots, care for one another, love one another, walk alongside one another through hard times, play hard together – they are the church.

Had a great limeade with my wonderful friend Donna. She is the best! I love meeting with her and talking about life. We see life in different pictures, but it was so neat to see her face today as she got it! “I get it” and she described what she was coming to an understanding about. Her eyes lit up and it was so much fun to listen to her. She truly is a wonderfully gifted woman and touches many lives. I know many times she does not realize how she touches people in special ways, but the people she touches do. Great afternoon sitting on the deck in their beautiful back yard, experiencing life together! It was a time of learning and of sharing our lives. Great stuff!

Tonight we went to the car races. Jerry loves these evenings and this one was a beautiful evening to be outside enjoying the fumes from the cars wafting over the air!!!! We took Cam with us, it was fun! However, there was this kid behind us that I could have put a sock into his mouth. Anyway, I didn’t!! The sunset was absolutely awesome as we drove home. Of course, we stopped for ice cream before we headed home. An evening at the races can only end with ice cream from Jerrys!

This was a great day to just experience life! Enjoy God’s creation, friends, family, and just life!

105790219888743847 Friday, Jul 11 2003 

I couldn’t post this last night so hopefully it will go through this morning.

Visited my friend Pat Harrison in the hospital tonight. She is a very special woman. She is not doing well physically, but it was so good to spend time with her. She doesn’t know how things will turn out, but she knows that she can trust the faithfulness of God. He is always there, God the Holy Spirit, indwelling us. We talked about Romans 8 and how nothing can separate us from the love of God – neither life or death . . . please pray for Pat in these unsettling days – she would appreciate that.

Lots of changes at Lakeview these days. It can be quite unsettling if one ponders over it. I am in the process of “letting it go” – whatever that means! Just holding everything with an open hand. God is good!

Matt’s friend Cam from New Zealand is staying with us for a couple of weeks. It is so good to have him around. Matt would be very jealous if he knew Cam was here. We are totally enjoying him. He has just finished reading “Messy Spirituality” by Mike Yagonelli. He really enjoyed the book. Great stuff! If you haven’t read it, it would be a good read for everyone.

We had a thunderstorm last night. I love thunderstorms! They take me back to when I was a girl back in southern Manitoba where thunderstorms happened frequently. If they came in the middle of the night, dad would get us all up to watch the storm. There is nothing like a thunderstorm to enjoy the lightening show and the thunder cracks after. Now my friend Donna Nakrayko would be much more descriptive than I am, but I hope you get the picture!

105764335216345992 Tuesday, Jul 8 2003 

I am back! I have not died and gone to heaven. I have been buzzing around the world keeping in touch with my relatives and kids. My life appears to be back into schedule so hopefully I will be more consistant in my blogging. I am not sure if anyone reads it anyway, but it is more for my benefit than for others.

I do need some lessons on blogging. Wendy Cooper posted a link to an interview with Jordon on blogging. Awesome read! I need lessons on how to link that stuff on to my blog.

Spent time with my good friend Nancy Yee. She always brings perspective into my life. Three hours pass quickly when Nancy and I interact. I am sure she goes home completely exhausted after having to extrovert for such a long consistant period of time. She has such a love for Christ and for the Church. She also has great wisdom and discernment. She shares these gifts so willingly. I always come away rethinking something in my life after conversations with her.

The speaker this weekend at Lakeview was part of the Soul Survivor team that came to minister to us. We had the opportunity to have Rachel together with Craig and Carla in our home. We had a great evening together just laughing and enjoying each others company.

Rachel spoke on Peter stepping out of the boat. She brought some new perspectives to this event which were so insightful. She talked about how the disciples obeyed Christ by getting into the boat and heading out across the lake. They ended up with a huge storm on the lake and they were petrified. To top it all off, Jesus came walking to them on the water and they thought he was a ghost and they became even more petrified. She talked about just because we obey Christ in responding to what he would have us do, does not mean that there will be no storms along the way. Obedience does not necessarily mean an easy road, it can mean huge storms along the way. So often we think with obedience comes an easy life. That is not always true! Jesus does not leave us alone in the storm, he is right there with us.

Another aspect she mentioned that the first time the disciples experienced a huge storm while in the boat was when Jesus was sleeping while the storm raged around them and when he woke up he stilled the storm. This time Jesus was not in the boat with them when the storm came and when he did come to them, he brought peace and quiet to the disciples first and told them to fear not. So, sometimes Jesus does still the storm of circumstances around us and other times he stills us in the midst of the stormy circumstances that are surrounding us. Some great thoughts. Rachel is from the U.K. It was so great to have her in our home.

Tamara will be home in about 2 weeks. I am excited!