Busy week… Friday, Jul 22 2005 

It has been a busy but a good week. Great wedding on Saturday as Berke and Mel got married. The wedding was at the Berry Barn which is an awesome setting for a wedding. The weather was great and I thought the wedding went really well with Kelly Graham and I both officiating. It is always fun to do weddings for people who are really special in your life and that is so true for Berke and Mel…it was just plain special to be there and to be part of their special day. They came over for supper on Monday evening so it was great to hang out with them as husband and wife…not that it made any difference. They are just great kids!

I tried to take it a little easier this week as I was really tired after the weekend…Jerry had three days off this week so we spent a little time together. I did a little reading and spent time just puttering around the yard…the most relaxing thing for me to do.

Nancy, Cathy and I meet every Wednesday afternoon with respect to the Women’s Collective we are looking at beginning at Lakeview. Some great discussions this week…most people would not understand or appreciate the depth of emotion we express as we talk about different issues and work through different ways of looking at things…it is amazing. In reflecting on our conversations this last Wednesday, I have come to some new realization of how I think and how I come to make some of my conclusions…which might not necessarily be correct. Some good food for thought and also some directive to think from a different perspective on some issues. That is why we need each other and why we need to be honest and speak what we believe and then be willing to rethink our position to make sure it is what it ought to be. I hope I never stop listening to others and learning to see issues from their perspective…I can be very narrow in how I see things, so it is so good to hear others speak from their perspective and then for me to ponder what they have said. I did have an “aha” moment through our conversations, which means that something became very clear to me and I made a shift in my thinking or perspective. Great stuff!

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Apology to my son Matt… Tuesday, Jul 12 2005 

Sometimes when I write words on my blog which are “tongue in cheek” people might not know how they are being said. A couple of days ago I talked about Matt and his comment of not reading my blog…the poor boy had just come out of the bush from days of hard treeplanting and I was just giving him a hard time…I certainly was not trying to show him up in a “bad” light!

In one of our classes we were to list 5 people who have influenced us over our life to this point…two of the people on my list were our son Matt and our daughter Tamara…they have moved me miles in my walk with God and they have taught me lots as they are each taking their own spiritual journey to truth…I know they will continue to learn new things that they apply to their lives which I will be able to learn from in the future…thanks kids!

Back Home… Tuesday, Jul 12 2005 

I arrived home on Sunday afternoon to a warm humid day in Saskatoon. It was good to be home and to be with my amazing husband who I am sure missed me terribly!! In fact, being apart for awhile is never bad for us…we need that space to bring proper perspective to our lives…we appreciate each other a whole lot more once we have been apart for awhile.

The difficult part for me now is to put into practice a “plan” of what I have learned this passed two weeks. There is so much learning rolling around in my head I will need a couple of days to just ruminate and bring articulation and substance to all that stuff in my head. I believe that if my life is not changed in any way, the learning I did was absolutely useless…just getting some more head knowledge is not life changing…the life change comes by putting it into practice. I again realize how privileged I am to be able to take 2 weeks and take a class at Regent…it is definitely not cheap either in money or in time to be able to do this, so thanks to my awesome husband who so prudently handles the finances in our home to make such an advantage possible…it would not be possible without planning and juggling of our finances…so as a result I do not want to be wasteful in any way.

Back to work today…not the easiest transition…but I am sure as the week goes on things will smooth out!

Accepted by KITTY or PITA Tuesday, Jul 12 2005 

I finally “arrived” at the Johnson household…as this house is ruled by KITTY or PITA (aka Pain In The Ass) you haven’t really arrived until you have been accepted or okayed by KITTY…well when I arrived at the Johnson household on Friday evening KITTY came up to me and head butted me…meaning “I like you”and I guess “you are okay”. A little while later KITTY came and laid down in front of my chair and I had the privilege of petting his neck and under his chin when he rolled over on his back…such acceptance is hard to come by! Later that evening Tenaya saw KITTY laying in front of the closed bedroom door where I slept…wonders of wonders never cease…it has been years since I have petted a cat as I have been terribly allergic to them…after petting KITTY I soaped my hands and arms down…I had a little reaction on one of my hands, but a douse of peroxide took care of that…antihistamines and my inhaler kept my asthma under control…amazing!

Ten 10 – Last day of Class and I talked to Matt Saturday, Jul 9 2005 

Our last day of class was sad as it hardly seemed possible that we had completed 10 days of being together. Great last day as questions were answered and we said our good-byes. Louise left this afternoon for home and I am heading home of Sunday morning.

I had the wonderful privilege to talk to Matt tonight…it has been a long time since we have been able to connect to talk. It looks like Jesika’s treeplanting days might be over so he is now the main treeplanter for their family!!! It sounded good and it was so good to talk to him. He said he didn’t read my blog because it was boring…I told him he had hurt my feeling by not respecting his mother enough to read her blog whether it was boring or not…you never have to worry about what Matt thinks he just plain tells you whether you want the truth or not…probably because I always told him to tell me the truth and not what he thought I wanted to hear…so it sounds like he learned well!!! He did sound good so that must mean he is making enough money to keep them viable for another winter. They have lots of rain which means lots of mud and a muddy campsite…not always fun things to contend with…but he says Jesika is looking after him well now that she can’t plant…that’s the way it should be…woman serving the man!!! Well, enough of this talk.

I am looking forward to heading back to Saskatoon. It seems like I’ve been gone for a long time. Lots to do when I get home…a wedding next weekend with a guest staying for the weekend. The wedding is Berke and Mel’s so that should be lots of fun. Til next time….

Day 9 – John 17 – The High Priestly Prayer Thursday, Jul 7 2005 

What a day! We started with prayer for the victims and their families from the bombings in London. We don’t know how to pray, but we do pray for all involved…very moving time for our class. The on to John 17

How can one express what is prayed in this prayer for Christ…it is beyond our comprehension exactly what this prayer means for each of us…as we went through it today, line by line, again I was reminded how much we are loved by the Father and the Son, and what they desire to give to each of us. It will take me some time to digest all that was said and all that came into my mind and heart as I sat through this session. As we ended this session I again was overwhelmed with emotion of what this means for me and for those around me…if only we would so live out these prayers in our daily lives…how caught up we are with our small little agendas and how self serving we are…in our small group we talked about what this means for the church and for us personally…we are not sure where it is leading us, but we will continue to walk and to trust in this Triune God who invites us to be part of His Dance…

I picked up the book “The Great Dance” by Baxter Kruger and started to read it last night and couldn’t put it down…what a book! It will take me a while to digest all that is in it. It surely resonanted with me and helped me to more fully understand the incarnation and what it means to us today….also a wonderful way of experiencing and living out the Trinity…good stuff!

Some great pictures on www.jordoncooper.com Jordon, Wendy, Lee and Mark were up at the tower at the airport yesterday while Jerry was working…Jordon took some awesome pictures and they are well worth looking at…

Til next time….thanks to those who commented on my blog…I feel much better today that I am not forgotten!!!

Day 8 – Prayers from Ephesians Philippians Colossians Wednesday, Jul 6 2005 

Greetings from another day at classes…my mind is overflowing and it is getting harder and harder to do my reading in the evenings…however this morning’s class was absolutely amazing and I just can’t believe the experience of God’s presence as we move through different exercises in class to solidify the truths we are learning. Today we met in groups of three and prayed the Pauline prayers over each other…those prayers are so overwhelming in the content to begin with and then to have them prayed over you is nothing short of amazing…it moved me to tears to think that we can be so audacious as to pray these prayers and knowing that God the Father hears them and desires to answer and give us all these things in our lives…all we need to do is get out of the way…easier said than done. Again as I reflect on what was said today I wonder how it can be made practical in my life and then in the lives of those around me. There is so much in this book called “The Bible” that is so relevant and life changing to our lives today, so how do we make it part of our everyday life? Good question!

I also went to a lunch presentation by Darrell on Spiritual Formation…it was mostly dialogue and it was interesting to hear the questions that were raised…alot of them by students who are at Regent…but I think the most profound statement was by a student who had to work for 3 years before he could attend Regent as he had to make money to pay his tuition…he said being in the marketplace was the best place to prepare him for coming to Regent and knowing what he needed to learn and is excited about going back out into the marketplace. Some of the students were talking about not being prepared to be in the marketplace after completing Regent…I thought is observation was the best…he said it should be required that before you are accepted as a student at Regent you have had to have worked in the marketplace for at least 3 years. Darrell then mentioned that it was exactly for these kinds of people that Regent was started…for people in the marketplace who wanted to take some time to equip themselves to be better equipped to be part of the marketplace. Darrell also talked about creating a “Rule for Life” meaning we set down the things that are important to us to continue to develop spiritually including what is important to us overall and then draw up a Rule of Life and live by that. We also talked about keeping the Sabbath…reflecting on this…I think we have robbed our people of something huge as we have filled up every day of our lives in doing and not taking time every week to sit down and reflect on what is the most important in our life. I can see Jerry pointing his finger at me while he is reading this…I am the worst at this…making time for myself. These two weeks have been absolutely stretching in so many ways. I wish everyone had this opportunity to take two weeks out of there busy schedule and just spend it learning, drinking coffee, laughing, reading, discussing, praying…all the things we should be doing regularly but life just takes over and as we often believe that “busy” means “success” we keep ourselves busy, mostly doing nothing or things that really aren’t all that important. Well, enough for this rant!

I have heard from a few of you that you have been reading my blog, including Jordon, thanks for your comments. Hearing from you means that you have not forgotten about me, which is always one of my greatest fears, being one of those fearful things that I have carried over from my childhood…thanks to those who have dropped a hello…I look forward so much to sitting down over a cup of coffee and talking about life and the way life is as we walk with the Triune God.

Jerry, I was in the bookstore again this afternoon for about 3 hours…you need to know that I did put some of the books back on the shelf, but not all of them. I also tried to save money by only buying those on sale…it just so happens that the ones on sale really weren’t all that good…so I am so glad God has provided by giving you two days of overtime while I was here!!!!!!!

Til tomorrow….Louise is out with her cousin Alex this afternoon….they were renting mopeds so here’s hoping she gets back in one piece…and is was a beautiful morning with the sun shining…it is now cloudy but it is not raining.

Day 7 – Trust Psalms and Soul Psalm – Rainy Day here Tuesday, Jul 5 2005 

It is pouring rain here and Louise and I had a fun time walking under one umbrella with her arm around my shoulders and my arm around her waist…I wonder what people were saying about that older woman with that young girl!!!! We will never know!

Another great day with the Psalms. Looking at the Trust Psalms of 37, 23 and 91. Great conversation of trusting God even though not understanding what is meant by all the statements in these Psalms. There are great promises for us to hold on to here … looking at Psalm 37 as Kidner says “There is no finer exposition of the third Beattitude than this Psalm, from which it is drawn”…the whole Psalm is working out the meaning of “meek” (v11)…the meek trust in Yahweh(3); do good in the face of evil(3); cultivate faithfulness(3); delight themselves in Yahweh (4); commit themselves to Yahweh(5); rest in Yahweh(7); do good (27); keep Yahweh’s way (34); take refuge in Yahweh(4); they do not fret because of evil doers(1); do not envy(1); cease from anger and forsake wrath (8); and depart from evil(27)…something to think about…”will inherit the land” (v9,11,22,29,34)! Great class!

Psalm 103 – Talk to Yourself (The Soul Psalm) – Great Psalm to read to ourselves and also a great Psalm to read together with Psalms 42&43. Some good thoughts here on dealing with the negative messages we hear in our heads; “we allow our self to talk to us, instead of us talking to our self”…”someone is talking to you. Who is talking to you? Yourself is talking to you. The main art in spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself”…this should tweak some discussion…

I have to go my time is running out…until next time…I will splash bacfk to my room in the rain…

Day 6 – Praying Psalms of Thanksgiving & The Torah Monday, Jul 4 2005 

Another great day in class…I have no idea what I am going to do with the wealth of information and ideas I have learned over these days… it will take a lifetime to put them into practice…but there is no doubt I will never be the same again! We started with a time of worship together and then sang “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” the hymn which is so full of gratefulness to God. We then looked at Psalm 107 a Psalm of Thanksgiving. A couple of statements made today stayed with me, one,

Gratitude/Thanksgiving is both a thermo-meter and a thermo-stat of our vitality of faith…meaning the time we spend in gratitude and thankfulness to God is our thermo-meter or measures our faith vitality…the less praise the lower the vitality…the more praise the higher the vitality. The thermo-stat controls our vitality of faith…we set the temperature of our faith vitality by the measure of our gratefulness or thankfulness. I have encouraged myself and others to practice an “attitude of gratitude” and it does change how we view and experience life. Great stuff!

Praying the Torah – looking at Psalms 119 – what a wonderful Psalm – a Psalm on “holy living” I can hardly wait to get into this Psalm for a good measure of time. Statement that this Psalm is long on holy living as it takes a lifetime for us to move to becoming holy.

I better head off and get my groceries home and get ready for my evening meal. Having a great time with Louise…what a wonderful gal…I love her lots already. Till next time…

The Weekend Monday, Jul 4 2005 

I spent a great weekend with my sister Joanne…Dwight was at a conference and didn’t get home until late Saturday night. We went to the Langley Fair on Friday evening to hear Abba Cadabra…a local band who pays tribute to Abba…it was good and we enjoyed hearing the many songs which we know so well. There also were old vintage airplanes flying and doing their aerobatics in the air…it was great to watch although I was a little nervous that they kept flying over our heads. On Saturday we had great coffee, great conversations, and great shopping. In the evening Joanne and I watched the movie “Two Weeks Notice” with Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant…great movie for some laughs and one of the few movies that has little crude language, nudity or sleeping around…which was nice and even without any of these the movie was still very funny! On Sunday we relaxed in the backyard in the sun and did some reading and just plain nothing…poked around Joanne’s flower pots as I am missing my garden somewhat…all in all a great weekend.

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