Saturday, July 17, 2010

Same Chapter, Different Text

Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves. 
Matthew 7:1

Beware of false prophets, who come to you dressed as sheep, but inside they are devouring wolves. You will fully recognize them by their fruits. Do people pick grapes from thorns, or fig from thistles?
Matthew 7:15-16

How do you implement verses 15 and 16 without running into problems with verse one?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Her Roses in My Vase

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Every year Mrs. Z’s flesh-ripping rosebush produces the most delicate, apricot-orange, aromatic roses.

For many summers I have fed and watered this rosebush. From her cottage up north, Mrs. Z would phone regularly for a bud and bloom count. She would let me have the roses—at least the ones she hadn't promised elsewhere.

This summer Mrs. Z didn't go up to the cottage; she is in a long-term care facility. I still take care of her roses.

During a short dry spell when I went to Mrs. Z's vacant house to water the rosebush, I found it loaded with half a dozen lovely blooms. I arranged them in my favourite simple white vase on my dining room table—an aromatic delight to behold, and only one thorny flesh wound as payment.

When Allison beheld my treasure she asked, “When are you bringing them over to Mrs. Z’s?”

“I’m not, she gave them to me.”

“That’s not what she told me when I visited her. She’s expecting them.”

Of course, what was I thinking?

The next day Allison and I drove the vase of roses out to the long-term care facility where Mrs. Z. lies abed. She was delighted to see us and even more delighted to see the roses which she immediately asked me to trim. "They will last longer if you cut the stems everyday."

I trimmed the stems as I transferred the roses from my favourite white vase into her little brown jug, but Mrs. Z. stopped me. She insisted the roses stay in the white vase—then she could check the water level. (She is rather blind and guessed the white china was clear glass.)

Allison tried to correct this misbelief, but to no avail. According to Mrs. Z. my vase was see-through and lighter to handle than her brown jug. She put out her hands to hold the vase for herself, warning me not to let go.

Of course, I let her have the vase and the roses. It sits in her window, an aromatic delight to behold.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Taking a Hike

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What’s a vacation without a hike? There is nothing quite like trudging through the bogs and muskegs of northern Ontario swatting insects and wondering why the trail markers disappeared, or (after an hour or two) if the end is around the next corner or maybe the next….

Thursday, July 8, 2010

26 Years of Elementary Christian Education

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Last month our baby graduated at Calvin Christian Elementary School. We’ve had at least one child in Christian elementary school for the past 26 years. Some people think 26 tuition-paying years deserves some kind of reward—that’s how I got to be the parent speaker at the graduation ceremony.
Being the speaker was an honour and a pleasure, but the real reward of 26 years of children in Christian elementary school is children who know that God is God and that He created all things.
As parents we were willing to pay for that kind of education for each of our children. My prayer is that the governments in this country will once again value education that recognizes God as God.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Best Way to Enjoy Cottage Life

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Several years ago Mrs. Z. offered to sell us her cottage. Mrs. Z.’s cottage was located on a pristine lake. Mrs. Z’s cottage needed a lot of work. Tearing it down and putting up a tent would be one option.

We thought about the pros and cons of owning a cottage and came up with mostly cons.

1) Weekend traffic

2) Cottage maintenance

3) Same old, same old, year after year

This summer we discovered the joy of cottage life without all the cons. Well, we still had to do the traffic thing (during the G8 even).

For five nights we rented a cottage big enough for our whole family, with a dock on a gorgeous lake with the use of a canoe and a paddleboat, a brand new BBQ, a fully equipped kitchen better than the one at home, a TV for World Cup Soccer, movies and toys galore.

The votes are in. We’ll be doing this again.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Julie the Jewel

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Look what I can do.

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Hang on.

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I’ll fix it.

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With Aunt Inna.

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With Daddy.

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With the cousins.

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A casual drive.

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That’s all folks.

Saskatchewan Boy Comes to Ontario

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Rolling up the pool cover

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Picking berries

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Swimming in Doe Lake

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Tim Horton’s

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Turkey farmer

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Strawberry shortcake

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Feeding the geese

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Honouring his aunt’s graduation

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This big

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A moment to relax

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A look at the goats

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Let’s see

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One quiet moment

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Let’s All Get Together

Below: The whole family at a cottage on Doe Lake north of Huntsville during the G8.

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