Day 4 – Psalm 51 and 139 Thursday, Jun 30 2005 

Today was an amazing day…considering I walked to class in the rain under an umbrella…to Starbucks to get my caffeine fix prior to class…but today’s class was on my two favorite Psalms. Darrell did such a great job on going through them and making them so personal…he also talked about praying the Psalms just the way they are and not us changing them to our language but trusting God that these are the prayers for today and that God will use them as He sees fit.

In thinking about this I thought of Ephesians 6 where it talks about our battle not being against flesh and blood or people but against the principalities of darkness in the Heavenly Realms…making me think that I don’t know what is going on around me and God certainly does and the prayers of the Psalms are ammunition for the unseen battle around us…also they can be prayed for the whole church everywhere and not just about little old me.

Just some thoughts…Louise Jeff and I met again this afternoon for our small group of praying…it is such a great time…not only to pray together but to discuss how we see prayer and how we see and feel God in our lives.

Tomorrow we look at the Lord’s Prayer…have been doing some reading on this…sometimes I am overwhelmed with the wealth of material out there and my prayer is that I will be the kind of learner that will put into practice the knowledge I have learned and that there will be changed behaviour in my life.

Being on this campus really makes me miss our kids…Tamara, Matt and Jesika…I am typing away here with tears in my eyes…with all of these young people around here I just miss the interaction I could be having discussing the new thoughts that come into my head and to just chase around these ideas with my family would be awesome…Jerry that includes you as well as you are still and kid and will always be the “kid” who brings fun into my life.

Love you all…till next time….

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Day 3 – Praying the Book Wednesday, Jun 29 2005 

Jerry, Happy Belated Anniversary for yesterday, June 28th. You have been the best over the past 36 years and hopefully the next 36 years will be just as exciting!!!

Today, another great day…I can’t seem to assimilate all the info received, but here are some of the things I am learning:

1. Most of Scripture speaks to us, the Psalms speak for us
2. John Calvin says: The Psalms are ” an anatomy of all parts of the soul”. They are ” a mirror in which each of us sees the motion of our own souls”.
3. The Father’s heart is open wide and you are welcome to come in…this is what Darrell begins each class with…wonderful

Today we discussed the Lament Psalms eg Psalm 9 & 10, 22, 44, 13
How do we read these Psalms as prayer?
Lamenting is not merely complaining…not only expressing pain of the broken world…not just crying out about life…LAMENTING is crying out to God when God is the problem! Only the believer can lament…you have to know something about God to be able to lament to Him…about His silence/absence/inactivity/abandonment…when your name says “you are always with us and for us” where are the signs of your being with us…our lamenting is not lack of faith…we are just trying to make sense of life in light of the self-revelation of God…we are wrestling with God and not trying to be God…a place to express the incongruity we feel with God…the more you see what could be and should be, you mourn/lament about how life really is around you…

These are just thoughts and I have not worked through them all…some may be right off the beaten track but that is where I am right now…

Our small group of Louise, Jeff and myself met for a couple hours this afternoon and grappled with some of this stuff and then prayed together. Jeff is doing his Masters here and is a very analytical person which fits in well with Louise and I…talking about head knowledge and how that moves to our heart. Good stuff!

Walking every day…early morning it is uphill all the way so the only thing that keeps me going is that Starbucks is at the end of the walk right across from Regent.

I have to run…time running out….

Day 1 and 2 of Praying the Book Tuesday, Jun 28 2005 

It is hard to believe that only 2 days have passed…it seems I have enough info to keep me going for a few weeks on Praying the Psalms…the class is amazing…Darrell Johnson is one amazing professor and even more amazing in his honesty of where he is in his own spiritual walk.

Day 1 – Gave us an overall look at the freedom of access we have in reading the Psalms…great material on how we can come to these Psalms and know that they have been prayed for centuries as the Prayer Book of Israel, the Prayer Book of Jesus, the Prayer Book of the Early Church…amazing. We looked at Psalms 1 and 2 being the preparation Psalms in preparing us to read the Psalms … Psalms 1 giving us time to settle down to be reflective and Psalms 2 giving us perspective … looking to Jesus Christ. Lots of material and lots of notes.

Day 2 – Looking at the Psalms that pray for our enemies … Psalms 69 and 109 …if the Psalms pray for us, is this what we really want to be praying. Great material on how to look at this Psalms that are asking for revenge and for judgment to reign down on their enemies…great food for thought. Have enjoyed reading the books authored by Eugene Peterson and C.S. Lewis…also enjoying reading and praying the Psalms from a totally different perspective.

It is awesome being here with Louise. We have had some great conversations sitting outside of Starbucks…she loves coffee as much as I do…as we were sitting and drinking coffee and talking yesterday afternoon, we just couldn’t believe that this was all we had to do…to embrace the moment and enjoy each other and good conversation.

Louise and I are heading out to look at the bus schedule and to see where we can go if we want to head off campus. Last night we headed down to Wreck Beach…unfortunately no nudes…but the sunset was spectacular and the 600+ steps up were quite a feat for an “older” woman like me. Louise headed down there this afternoon as well and needless to say she said there were people there who were not inhibited with clothes…one guy was inclined to jog along the water…I did not ask Louise whether she watched or not!!!!!!!

We are having a great time. The weather has been average but we do have the sun today which is nice. Our rooms are small and a little airtight…but we are enjoying our time here so far.

Til next time……

Langley, B.C….. Saturday, Jun 25 2005 

I arrived safely and in one piece on Thursday evening…the flights were fine and I got some of my reading done on the way which made the time fly by…I don’t enjoy flying that much. I have had a couple of wonderful days here with my sister and her family…the weather has been wonderful and we just finished eating outside in beautiful sunshine and warm weather. Joanne and I went to a heather and enchinnecia farm today where we walked for a couple of hours and then sipped on heather flavoured iced tea while listening to a jazz band play…wonderful experience…very relaxing.

Louise Carroll is coming tomorrow to attend Regent College along with me…there had been some goings on that she wouldn’t be able to attend…but Brad went all out to see if she could come and she is…that is awesome…we are picking her up tomorrow morning from the airport. It will be great to have her here learning together with me…I know there will be some great conversations from what we are learning.

We are heading out to Whiterock to walk along the ocean and then head out for some icecream…mmmmmmmmmm….so good….so flavorful….so smooth.

Tomorrow we head to Regent and then start our classes on Monday morning. Have been doing my reading…books are a little dry and technical, but I am sure the classes will be nothing like that…here’s hoping……

I’m Off… Thursday, Jun 23 2005 

I am all packed and ready to go! Had coffee with Jordon and Wendy this morning which included some stimulating conversation – which is always awesome! Jerry will be picking me up and off to the airport at 12:45 pm…my flight leaves at 2:35 pm. I am excited and am looking forward to a change for a couple of weeks. I believe God and I will have some stimulating conversations and hopefully I will listen and respond accordingly. This isn’t only about my head but about my heart as well. The Class I am taking is “Reading the Book” meaning the Bible…looking at the Psalms, the Lord’s Prayer, John 17 and some of the prayers of Paul in the Epistles. Small Groups are also a part of the class so am also looking forward to hearing and listening to others as well. Since no one will know me I can be an introvert if I want to and not say anything…I will let you know how that goes!!! Vancouver…here I come!

Regent College… Thursday, Jun 23 2005 

I am off to Langley, B.C. tomorrow afternoon. I will spend the weekend with my sister Joanne and her family and then head to Regent College on Sunday evening, to start my class on Monday morning. I am looking forward to getting away and spending significant time reflecting and learning. Also looking forward to just hanging out with my sister…she even vacuumed her house in preparation for my coming…she didn’t have to do that…I am just family! I have a couple of hours in the Calgary Airport tomorrow afternoon which I will spend doing some of my reading for my class…haven’t had much time to do much of that these past weeks. I will blog from Vancouver as much as I can.

Tired… Tuesday, Jun 21 2005 

I always seems to be so far behind and never caught up which makes we very tired. I am wondering if I am just expecting too much of myself or whether I am just over committed. There are so many things in life that are good, but are they the best. My dad used to say that even if something is good it may not be the best for you. I guess I have to decide between the good and the best…sometimes difficult to do!!

Update on life… Tuesday, Jun 14 2005 

Matt and Jesika called today from High Level where they have been in the bush planting trees under quite the circumstances. Matt was telling me today that there were days that they planted trees with water up to their waists…he talked about how his feet got stuck in mud with water up to his waist and he couldn’t move. He had to call to the person who was walking some distance away to come and pull him out…what fun. The bugs are unreal and the work has been really hard as the terrain has been unbelieveable…but they are making good money! Jesika has tendonitis so has been resting her wrist with ice and heat to get the swelling down. She had to change the shovel she used to plant which put stress on some of her other tendons, so they reacted to the stress. They have a couple of days in a hotel in High Level, so hopefully they will get some good rest. Matt didn’t get out of the bush until 11:00 pm last night as he and some others had to finish up the block and then the road from the staging area to the road was so muddy it took them 1 1/2 hours to drive what should have taken 20 minutes. Jesika had been out since Noon so when Matt got to the hotel he was so tired…he sat in the hot shower to get warmed up and Jesika fed him…I thought you men would enjoy hearing that…good for you Jesika…you are awesome…I know Matt would do the same thing for you. Their dogs Neiko and Griffin have had their fare of experiences including discovering a porcupine…and everytime the helicopter comes in to pick them up Griffon starts howling…they are not sure whether she is excited or whether she is upset because she has to leave Neiko behind…on the fun of having a family. It was so good to hear from them and to know they are okay albeit a little “workworn”…way to go kids for taking circumstances and life “headon” and not shying from hard work!

Tamara our hardworking daughter in Kaihshiung, Taiwan is busy teaching as well as co-managing the school she is working at. She has had many new experiences and much stress in her life, but she also is working hard and learning so much. Supervising teachers is not always easy, especially when they are not doing well and you need to empower and help them to change to be more effective in what they are doing. Tamara is an amazing organizer but I am also seeing her as a great motivator of people, which is a great strength. She is unsure of the future, but I know she will do well at whatever she undertakes. She has a great work ethic and wants to do things right…she is also very bright and continues to learn by undertaking new tasks…she is an amazing young woman with many talents and gifts. She is coming home for Christmas, so we are looking forward to being together as a family this December…that will be awesome.

Jerry is putting off retirement until January 2006…we were talking awhile back and I told him if he retired he needed to get another job…look hosting at Walmart!!!….to which he promptly replied “Why would I quit doing what I love to do, to do something that pays lousy and I would probably not enjoy”…true wisdom..I think it is because of the awesome guys he works with who keep feeding him all those wondeful meals and pies he doesn’t get at home…I wonder…

Gloria is never going to retirement…just continue being tired…life has been very busy with lots of people…but it is what I love to do…it is the administrative stuff that is killing me…I miss my Cathy who looked after me so well…learning to be flexible with my schedule is hard for me…when I am supposed to be at work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday…even if I work every day of the four days I have off, I still feel guilty for not being in my office those days…I still have work to do in this regard…not to be driven by guilt…

Our yard is all planted and just needs to grow…we had great fun cleaning out our flowerbed underneath our apple tree…during the winter Jerry had put a bird feeder up in the tree and the only seed the birds didn’t eat was the wheat…so we had this big crop of wheat among the flower we planted…it was crazy the work it took to get rid of it…and it isn’t over yet, I can see more of it coming up…no more wheat for the birds next winter…but the rain has done wonders for our yard…we just need some more heat to get it growing. If you would like to see our yard, this is a standing invitation to come…we would love to show you around and talk about all the plants we have planted…sounds boring to some, I know, but not to everyone…

Enough for now…I hope to keep posting more regularly…I am heading out to Vancouver on June 24th to connect with my sister Joanne’s family and then to Regent College on June 27th. I will be back in town on July 10th and the following Saturday our other son, Berke Buchko, will be getting married to his longtime sweetheart Mel…should be a great day for all…til later…

Blogging… Tuesday, Jun 14 2005 

I have spent a wonderful morning connecting with so many of my friends via their blogs. I have been so busy that last couple of weeks that I have neglected my computer almost entirely, which is so wrong. I realized anew today how my life is connected to so many people who blog on a regular basis and how much that enriches my life. I know that I am a slow learner and it takes me awhile to assimilate new information or for that matter old information as well, but having said that I am now renewing my commitment to blog more regularly.

I had a conversation with a friend awhile back who commented that blogs should be not allowed as people were too personal with their conversations. I have to admit I did took offense to that comment and have been thinking about it since.

For me reading someone’s thoughts through blogging is a privilege and I believe it takes great strength to be vulnerable and talk about the hurts we have in our lives and how we work through them or don’t work through them. I believe that is the freedom that comes with being able to be honest and live life honestly before others. Too often we cover up who we really are and portray the image that all of life is wonderful when in fact we are not doing well at all.

I hope you connect with the people whose names are on the side of my blog. I don’t know how two add names and my good friend Jordon does that for me, so if your name is not on the list and you would like to be added just leave me a comment…the more links I have the better the community.

Thanks to all of you who so faithfully keep up your sites…I am truly blessed by your posts!

It’s Been Awhile… Wednesday, Jun 1 2005 

It has been awhile since I have posted here…there is probably nobody left reading the vacant spaces in my blog. Life just gets so side tracked by seemingly “small” things, it makes me tired.

Jerry and I have finished all our planting, so that’s is it for another year…hopefully all the plants will live and hopefully flower beautifully. Jerry finished sanding and painting the deck, so all is in order for our barbacue party here on Friday night. I hope it is a nice clear evening so we can sit out by the fire.

I have been accepted at Regent College for a summer class so am really excited about doing that. I have always wanted to do something like this, so am looking forward to the learning and meeting new people. I will also get some time to spend with my sister and her family in Langley, which will be awesome as well.

We are heading out to Waskesiu on Thursday to spend the day with Doris and Lorne. Short trip but the drive will be nice and we always love Waskesiu.