107016783647989906 Saturday, Nov 29 2003 

This has been a busy, but good day. I met with five people today going over their Personal Profile from the class I taught a couple of weeks ago. What a privilege! Each person has such a unique spiritual journey to share. It usually takes about 1 to 1 1/2 hours for each interview. Great time! Brad Tuck, my first appointment, had to wait for me as my car ran out of gas on the way to the church. Good thing Jerry was driving so he headed back home and picked up another car. You see, I hate filling my car with gas, so I usually leave it for Jerry to fill for me. I guess I left it too long this time! Jerry couldn’t be too mad at me as this is the first time I allowed my car to run out of gas – Jerry has had this happen quite frequently over his looooooong lifetime. He was very good about it AND Brad was still waiting for me when I got to the church. His most valuable personal asset is “Patience” and he certainly proved that this morning.

THEN tonight I volunteered in the ages 3 and 4 children’s ministry called “Bytesize”. Well if I have to be honest, hanging out with 3 and 4 year olds is more work than pleasure. Tonight we had between 35 and 38 kids in 2 rooms with the temperature about 33 Celcius. I give a “bouquet of roses” to these Children’s Ministry leaders who are there every week. Actually, I did have some fun racing cars with the boys and doing action songs with the kids. We then had a craft time where we were all to draw a “dove” on a white sheet of paper with markers. This was very interesting because I am not sure these children knew what a dove was – so the pictures were very interesting!! We then had snack which was rice krispie cake, which was great, as it was all soft and sticky – which then meant they had to wash their hands. Another craft was then done – this was making a lamb’s face by gluing cotton balls to a paper plate. This meant using your gluestick to cover your plate with glue and then stick the cottonballs on to the plate. Very interesting!! Together with sticky fingers from the rice krispie cake and from the glue stick, there were cotton balls being stuck everywhere!!! They were then given eyes, mouth and ears to complete their lamb. Some of the finished creations were quite creative!!!!! Not sure what they looked like – but the children had fun with the gluesticks!

It is amazing what these young children learn. They sang songs with actions, many of them knowing both the words and the actions. They did “The Lord’s Prayer” in sign language together. They prayed together. It was amazing! Their lesson was done by a puppet show about the angels coming to tell the shepherds, who were watching their sheep, about Jesus being born and going to see him in a stable in town. They did a great job with the puppets – most of the puppeteers were Grade 5 children – great stuff. The kids loved the puppets, as did this volunteer. I came home exhausted but totally amazed by how much the children learn and by the dedication of these Children’s Ministry volunteers who do this three services every weekend. That is commitment!!

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106994527446367429 Thursday, Nov 27 2003 

I thought you might enjoy this email we received from Jesika, our daughter-in-law!

hey guys, here’s a funny little story you might get a kick out of…imagine this…matt and i are enjoying a lovely train ride in a crowded, but not too stuffy train car…the view is beautiful and we’re enjoying the last scenery of gujarat while heading to diu…the train stops at a station and passengers get off and get on, and amongst the new passangers is a large group of drag queens…we chuckle a little bit at this strange site and continue looking at the passing scenery as the traini continues on…a few minutes later one of the drag queens comes through our cart and starts asking all the men for a few rupees…well, when he/she requests some money from matt… matt replies ‘no’…the drag queen thought he didn’t understand so he tried to explain it a little clearer…but matt understood perfectly well and was just refusing…well the drag queen didn’t quite know what to make of it, because all the other guys on the train were giving money, so he left a little confused…well, when the rest of the mob heard about this foreigner who wouldn’t give money, they all piled over to our seats and started a big game of charades to try to explain to matt just exactly what they wanted…a few rupees…matt continued to smile and say ‘no’…once they realized that matt actually understood what it was they were asking for and was refusing, the show began…now you see in canada men pay for a show, in india men pay the drag queens so there WON’T be a show and they’ll be spared the embarrasment…so since matt wouldn’t pay, they started hiking their skirts and making calls at him and once one started pinching his cheeks they all had to start pinching his cheeks and stroking his face…and the rest of the train sure enjoyed the entertainment…so matt didn’t pay to get a 5 minute show and quite a few other visits as they continued to make the rounds of the train….it was the best entertainment we didn’t pay for!!

106994513604021400 Thursday, Nov 27 2003 

For those of you who are interested in our kids, we talked to Tamara a couple of days ago for about 1 1/2 hours. She is doing well. Working very hard but looking forward to us arriving there for holidays. Matt and Jesika called last night from Dehli, India where they had just arrived after a 16 hour train ride from Dui, a small island on the Arabian Sea. They are both doing well. They are in the process of getting Vietnam visas which are expensive. It was so good to hear their voices. They both sounded well and having some great experiences. I do miss my kids, but I am also so grateful that they are wonderful independent adults!!

106990927301842454 Wednesday, Nov 26 2003 

If my office walls could talk – there would be hundreds of stories to share. I have the privilege of listening to many different people, from young to older, about their spiritual journey, and also about the hurts and trials in their lives. My heart breaks for those who have been ostrasized by “the church” and by the rules that they require their people to follow. I am so thankful that our relationship with Christ is not about rules – it is about love and forgiveness, restoration and reconciliation, healing and growing. The Bible is not a “rule book” but the true story of a God who loves us completely, unconditionally, and passionately. That the Holy Spirit, God Himself, indwells us and waits for us to respond to his wooing in our lives. He does not remove us from the mess and He does not remove the mess from us – He is right in the middle of the mess with us. He never leaves us or abandons us! What a wonderful promise!

I met with two awesome young people tonight. When I handed a Bible to the seventeen year old young man, he said he had never had a Bible in his life and had never read it. To see his openness and his honesty was so refreshing. What a gift! The young woman was afraid to even enter Lakeview because she had experienced some of her greatest rejection in “the church”. I hope I showed her the love of Christ tonight. What a beautiful young woman. God has done some remarkable miracles in her life the last couple of days and I know He will continue to do just that. God is passionate about his creations!

My awesome friend Donna came to see me last night. She always makes me dig deep. I love her questions and her absolute honesty. She is an amazing friend. I always learn something about myself through our conversations. I had been missing her in my life. We hadn’t connected for awhile and it was so good to be able to hug her tight!! We all need community in our lives, to keep each other warm and glowing.

106964712086256021 Sunday, Nov 23 2003 

This has been a quiet Sunday. Just relaxing and enjoying the quiet. God is good.

106946920998798160 Friday, Nov 21 2003 

Yesterday at work they had a birthday cake for those of us who had a birthday or going to have a birthday. As I will not be around on my birthday, I was included in this celebration.

Cathy has become a very special person in my life. She provides administrative assistance to those of us who need help. She is also a wonderful friend.

Cathy is also an amazing artist or maybe I should say a “creator” of originals. For my birthday, she made me a Rosary. I have wanted to get one for some time, but Cathy let out her secret a while back to say she was creating one for me. I am wanting to be more experiential in my worship and prayer. She also created a prayer book to go along with my Rosary, prayers to pray with the Rosary, but also room for me to put my own prayers. She also created this beautiful container for my Rosary. As I learn to pray the Rosary and lift my heart in worship to God, I will also be experiencing the love of a friend whose hands created each bead of that Rosary. Thanks Cathy, you are amazing.

106946865770566767 Friday, Nov 21 2003 

My interviews are done!!! At this point I don’t really want to think about what my answers were. I hope I was not too much of a heretic in some of my ramblings! Well it is water under the bridge now.

106930051726857149 Wednesday, Nov 19 2003 

I have my interview for my ministerial candidacy on Friday. It is three sessions of two hours each. I guess I better refresh my memory on Wesleyan theology. Review all the papers I have done and the notes taken.

106930031719055098 Wednesday, Nov 19 2003 

Busy week! It is amazing what enough sleep can do for a person’s disposition. I had a tendency to be a nighthawk so often do not go to bed early enough. I have been trying to change this habit, and guess what, I have been feeling better the next day.

Any suggestions on a good book to read on the flight to Taiwan? I am looking for one that will keep my interest and will be able to give away once I get there.

106896249072070378 Sunday, Nov 16 2003 

Just finishing reading the book “the post evangelical” by dave tomlinson. Excellent book and very thought provoking. Many of the statements in the book were statements I had already heard from the mouth of our son Matt. This was a very enlightening read! I highly recommend it. By the way, the book was a gift from Jordon. Good choice!

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