Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Oh, Danny Boy!

Our son Daniel was ripped out of his mother's womb too early, 19 years ago.  I had been admitted into the hospital just before Christmas, 1989, because of a placenta previa.  Daniel threatened to come way too early, and I was thankful that he stayed put until he was only 5 weeks early.  As it was, he had a rough birth.  He weighed just over 7 lbs when he was born.

Before I saw him, Dr. Thornback came into the recovery room and warned us that Daniel was in distress.  I was wheeled down on a stretcher to see the baby, who was hooked up to a ventilator.  He had an IV in his hand and a tube in his umbilicus.  He was wired up to every machine you could think of, and he looked so pathetic.  Yet, my first reaction was-- "what a beautiful baby!"

We went through a difficult couple of months after we came home from the hospital.  Daniel was hungry, but weak, so when he nursed  he didn't take in enough calories to sustain his weight and add any on.  He slowly lost ground.  He ended up being only 5 lbs, 9 oz.

Long story short, we pumped and nursed and force-fed the little guy, and he was transformed from a "little Prune" to a chubby, happy fellow.

And, here we are, nineteen years later.  No longer chubby, Daniel is lanky and lean, over 6 feet tall, intelligent, articulate, and godly.  He loves the Lord, and he loves his family.

And we love him.

Happy Birthday, Danny my Boy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Tiana has been baking cookies.  Some of those cookies have been eaten by her recuperating older brother.

It's nearly been a week since the surgery.  Jared has been happily sitting, watching videos, reading, and resting.  At first the leg was well-bandaged, but the seeping blood turned the bandage rock-hard, so that it was cutting into his leg.  I gingerly removed it.

Thirty-four staples, people!  Ugh.

The leg seems to be getting better, but I don't like the swelling, nor do I like the blood pooling at the bottom of the ankle.  I have applied arnica gel to help with the bruising, and have given Jared plenty of Vitamin C, cod liver oil, and curcumin.  And I have prayed, much, for God, the Great Physician, to heal my son.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

She knows

I was cleaning up an old filing cabinet today, and discovered all sorts of treasures.  Letters from my mom, my Gran, and my mother-in-law.  Cards expressing love.  Drawings and notes from my children.  Special cards from Rick that I tucked away to read again some day.

One of the notes was from a friend, Barb, with whom I taught a Sunday School class of teen-aged young women.  She wrote to express her love for me, and her gratefulness that the Lord brought us together.  Then she went on, "I've been thinking of the majesty of salvation - the thought of being "chosen".  In the book I've been reading, the author mentions how warfare is usually carried on in the home, where our guards are more easily let down."

Isn't it true?  Our guards are down when we're home.  We are more comfortable, so we let our true selves show.  Sometimes that's just not pretty.

Barb went on to share a picture of Christ standing in front of us when the arrows of danger come at us.  He is there to protect us.  He is our Commander, and He's in constant communication with us.  Earthly soldiers depend on transmitters which can be intercepted by the enemy, but our communication with Jesus is never interrupted.  

Barb wrote, "It made me realize afresh how little I call on Him at the point of confrontation."

Isn't it true?  When the toast is burnt, and the phone is ringing off the hook, and the teenager is stuck in the driveway, and the water is dripping from the ceiling, it's so very easy for a mom to come unglued.  When she opens her mouth to speak, the first words through her lips should be, "Jesus, Help!"

And He will.  He knows.  

We can have close fellowship with our Commander and King, for He is more than that.  He is our Friend, a very present help in time of trouble.  He is always prepared to help, and always willing to listen.  One day, I will see Him face-to-face, and I will know much more than the glimpse I know now.

But Barb knows.  She went to be with the Lord a couple of years ago.  

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Little Things

I am sitting here, cleaning off my desk, organizing more, wondering if it will EVER be done.   The renovation project is nearing the end, and I am in the very last stages.  I am labelling drawers and closets, sorting papers, creating a space for scrapbooking and art, finances and education.  As I work, I ponder the blessing that this room is to our family.  

Not only was it built by our very own hands, but my husband designed it.  This GREAT room serves as a family room, a classroom, an art workshop, a sewing room, and a communication centre.  We are connected here - to one another through our family times, and to the world through the internet.  

It's a bright space, with eleven windows.  It's an airy space, with a cathedral ceiling.  Yet it's a cosy space, with warm dark brown flooring, and couches that invite you to curl up and read.  

I love this room, and the family that built it.  I love looking at the painted walls, the trimmed ceilngs, the new laminate flooring, and thinking about all of the little details that went into the renovations.

Today, after Linda wrote her blog, she called me over to read it.  I sat down at her computer, and the pain in my neck warned me that I couldn't stay in that position for long.  I stood, and read, and as I finished, I marvelled that my desk is 2 and a half inches shorter than Linda's, and that makes all the difference.

When Daniel built my desk, he built the desktop to fit onto my existing drawers, from a rather short old desk I had.  It fits me perfectly, and the placement of my monitor is just right.  I can look at the monitor without hurting my neck.

He built the kids' desks approximately 2.5 inches higher.  They're just the right height for my tall children - but just a bit too high for me.  This wasn't planned, by Daniel, or any of us.  But God, Who is rich in mercy, took care of that little detail.  He guided my son as he sawed and drilled and screwed the desks in place.  And He ordained that my desk would be at the perfect height for me.

The little things matter.  God blesses us in the work we do.

  Deut. 2:7 For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. 

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Over 8,000 steps today!

I am supposed to be working my way up, and today's steps were to be 7,500.   But here it is, late in the day, and I've already done 8,087 steps.  

Doc K, my family doctor, said I should shoot for 10,000, which I will do, the week after next.  I figure if I can keep it at 8,000 for this week, and 9,000 next week, I'll be doing good.

Now if I could only talk Rick into walking with me.  It's comforting to me that God sees my steps.  He knows my heart.  He delights in my way and walks with me.   Good to know.

Job 31:4  Does not he see my ways and number all my steps?

Job 34:21 “For his eyes are on the ways of a man, and he sees all his steps.

Psalm 37:23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way;

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Belgium & The UN Convention on the Rights of a Child

dystopian future is one where the social problems of today become greater in magnitude, producing a future that is filled with crime, war, and similar evils.

Today I read with horror a report about Belgian control of society.  In order to produce a society that is healthy and vibrant, medical doctors have committed murder, calling it assisted suicide.  Assisted suicide is bad enough when it is the suicide of a grown person who is somewhat rational and aware and able to make an informed decision.  Many advocates have clearly taught that suicide is not the answer, because the despair of dealing with illness or disability often passes, and afflicted people often live contented and fulfilled lives.  It ought to make you shudder with horror upon horror when you realize that the people the Belgians are supposedly assisting are less than a year old.  

Big Brother is watching, and making all of the decisions.  He has decided that hand-made clothing is dangerous, so it must be banned (see sidebar, at top left).  He has decided that life with disabilities is not worth living, so he kills and destroys.  He has decided that parents cannot choose curriculum with wisdom, so he has decreed.  And the people are so busy playing with their toys that they have not even noticed the curtailment of certain inalienable rights.

When I was a teenager, I read Animal Farm, 1984, and Brave New World.  The authors, George Orwell and Aldous Huxley, had contrasting views of the future:

Social critic Neil Postman contrasts the worlds of 1984 and Brave New World in the foreword of his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death. He writes:
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us.

My fear is that both men were right.  In our search for pleasure and our desire to control, we have allowed leaders to make laws to protect us.  We do not want to take responsibility for our own actions, preferring to blame the government if things go wrong.  Our fear that life might not be full of pleasure has ruined us.  We have lost the ability to think, to discern, to judge correctly.  Scary.

Woe unto those who call good evil, and evil good.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Granny Miller

One of my favourite web-Grannies is Granny Miller (not her real name).  She lives a simple and deliberate agrarian lifestyle in rural Pennsylvania.  She writes with wisdom and knowledge, and takes great pictures to go along with her advice.

I've subscribed to her blog, and look forward to her posts.  She's written about her animals, about canning and freezing, about gardening, and about her wonderful companion dog, Riko, who died recently.  

Her blog is well worth the visit.  Pay special attention to her "Ask Granny" posts, located in the sidebar.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Christmas, above all, should be disturbing.

I think Jehovah's Witnesses have it right. They don't believe that Jesus is God, come in the flesh, come to save the people from their sins. They ignore, or misinterpret, the second chapter of Philippians.  Jesus is a good man, even a king, they say, but He is not God in the flesh.  

Oh, yeah?  Read Philippians 2: Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, [1] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, [2] being born in the likeness of men.

 He did not count equality with God (which was what He had) a thing to be grasped, or held onto.  He left glory to take on flesh and become a baby, born of a virgin, born to live and eat and tire and be battle-worn.  His was not an easy path, yet He chose it out of love.

Christmas is disturbing.  Take the time to clich over to C.J. Mahaney's article.  Instead of picturing the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, with shepherds and angels bowing down, remember this one thing:  This king, this babe-in-the-manger, came to die.  

And being found in human form, he humbled himself bybecoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 

He came to live a perfect life, knowing He would be raised in obscurity, that He would be rejected at first by those who loved Him, and that He would be mocked by the religious and civil leaders of the day.  He came to die the most awful of deaths - even death on a cross.  It wasn't going to be easy.

At least the JW's are honest.  They don't celebrate Christmas at all.  I feel sad for them, but in a way, they are telling the truth about what they believe.  It certainly isn't the God of the Bible that they worship.

But what about the rest?  How many thousands upon thousands of North Americans wish each other "Merry Christmas", with nary a thought about the Christ we remember?  

It's profoundly disturbing that one person had to pay the price for our sin.  It's profoundly disturbing that the angels who sang "Glory to God in the Highest" were aware of the price the Peace would cost.  And we who know this Christ and understand the Price that was Paid must celebrate deeply-for it was done out of love.  God the Father gave His only begotten Son, for me.  One day, we'll bow.  One day, we'll confess.  One day, we'll truly understand why this Jesus has been highly exalted and given the name that is above every name.  We'll bow, and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

And what a Christmas celebration that will be!  Some of you may yet come to understand that Jesus Christ is Lord in this life.  I'd be thrilled to discuss theology with you, if you ever so wish.  Meanwhile, take a trip over to the Raving Athiest's blog, to see how RT changed his tune.  As he studied and pondered what truth is, he naturally concluded that God is.

I know I'm late, but I wish A very Merry Christmas to all of you.

The Step Diet

As I said previously, I have recently purchased a book called, "The Step Diet".  I have fought the battle of the bulge most of my life.  Celiac Disease has complicated the whole nutrition/diet cycle.  I have to be very careful about what I eat, and in the past couple of months have discovered that it isn't only wheat/gluten that causes me pain and other nasty symptoms.  Apparently, nightshades (peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant), corn and soy bother me as well.  Unless you've been educated in the fine art of label-reading, you would NOT believe how many hidden sources of wheat/gluten/tomatoes/potatoes/corn & soy there are.

That's why a diet, for me, is usually complicated.

However, this Step Diet book is very simple.  I am required to record my steps for a week - so far, I have walked 9093, 4443, 6967, and so far today, 6148 steps.  At the end of the week, I am to average my steps, then add 2,000 steps per day.  That's it.  Two thousand steps per day, plus paying attention to when I am tempted to overeat.  If I want that extra cookie, well and good, but I'll have to walk an extra 3,000 steps that day...  not exactly worth it, I think.

I like the idea of setting small goals in order to get in the number of steps I need per day.  Five minutes of walking before meals gives me an extra 15 minutes by the end of the day.  Instead of sending the kids up to change the load of laundry, I'll do it.  Instead of getting someone else to empty the dishwasher, I will take those extra steps.  

The book makes the point that most weight gain happens gradually, over a long period of time.  By making wiser choices, the weight can come off gradually, over a similar period.  I don't have to count calories, and I don't have to avoid foods I like (there are so few I can eat, anyway).  I just have to stop when I feel satisfied, and move more.

Sounds simple to me.  I will try to keep you posted on how it goes.  I will weigh myself at the end of my week of recording my normal steps, then keep a record of steps taken and weight loss that ensues.  Precept upon precept, line upon line, little by little...that's my plan for 2009.

Friday, January 02, 2009


Okay, I admit it.  I am a writer of resolutions.  I try very hard to stick to them every year.  I cannot say I accomplish my goals, but I am glad to say that even in the trying to do them, I accomplish more than if I did not set the goals in the first place.

I love new beginnings, so January is one of my favourite months.  Even though we are smack in the middle of a Canadian winter, behold, all things are new.  A brand new year stretches out before me.  I have another chance to do things right, to touch the lives of others in a meaningful way, to grow closer to my loved ones, and to draw nearer to my God.

If I were to write my goals for 2009, they would be something like these ones:

2009 Resolutions

Read over these resolutions every Sunday.

·         Continue Memorizing Scripture. Having the Word of God at hand is good – having it on your heart is better. Let these be my words: “Thy word have I hid in my heart…”

·         Read through ESV-Study Bible.

·         Develop a character of helping others. Grow in grace and compassion. Let me never consider myself better than others, but consider myself the chief of sinners – seek God’s help in developing humility. Let me consider all others better than myself.

·         Develop patience. No-one is so sinful or bad that they deserve sinful wrath from another sinner. God is infinitely patient with me. How can I be any different?

·         Develop Christ-likeness. Study the gospels of Christ in order to learn better how to imitate Him.

·         Prayer time - Designate prayer time and stick to it.

·         Seek God’s help in controlling temper.

·         Redeem the time – do not waste away idle hours doing nothing.

·         Let me never waste an opportunity to spread the gospel – I pray that I may have courage to step forward when the way is frightening, when all are against me. May fear of death or pain never keep me from proclaiming God’s name.

·         Let every word of my mouth, every thought from my mind, every emotion I feel, be held captive by God for His glory. In every circumstance, may I remember that I am God’s letter to this world, that I am His ambassador to this Earth. May I live like it every moment.

·         Read biographies and histories – Take the examples of faith from Christians past.

·         Read 50 theology books – and write reviews/comments to prove it.

·         Let this be the description of my life from this day forth :  Romans 12:9-21


"Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."


·         If ever I come to terrible persecution, let me not curse those who torment me, but instead follow the example of Stephen, and die praying for them.

·         Be a godly example to family and friends. May I be ever ready for God to work through me.

·         May I never be afraid to stand up for others weaker than myself. 

These goals for 2009 were written by my lovely daughter, Linda.  I plan to read them every day.   I also plan to walk more, love more, relax more, and learn more.  Tomorrow I will share my walking goals for this year, along with my reading goals.  I am just thankful that I have been given more time to accomplish some of them.

Can’t beat that!

Thursday, January 01, 2009


The Psalmist writes, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!” (139:23)

We've just been through Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations. We've enjoyed laughter and conversation. However, as is my wont, I am thinking about the year gone by and the year ahead as the first day of 2009 winds down.

Time sure marches on. I look at my nephew David cuddling his little girl, and remember that just a short time ago, he was splashing in the water at the Goderich beach with all of my children. How'd he grow up so fast?

I look at my eldest grandson, Justin, and remember the day of his birth, almost ten years ago now. What a marvel to hold my first grandchild! And now we're expecting our 16th, 17th, and 18th grandbabies. Where'd the time go?

Ecclesiastes speaks with wisdom about time:

A Time for Everything

3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

I sometimes feel that I am "running out of time", or "haven't enough time", or I "wish the time would go by faster" - in the dentist's chair, for instance. Yet God says I have just enough time between the time I am born and the time I will die. I'll learn much along the way about when to act, and when to restrain myself from acting.

In the past couple of months, we've had some family crises that have necessitated a bit of weeping, yet last night, it was time to laugh. We had time this past week for embracing the ones we love, and time for speaking the truth in love to a hurting niece.

I do not know what the future holds. I have no idea what 2009 will mean for myself or my family. But I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Self-Sufficient One has plans to prosper me, to give me a future and a hope.

I hope 2009 will be a very good year. I hope we'll look back at the end of the year, and marvel at the good times, and rejoice at seeing how the Hand of God preserved us through the bad times.

Time is a gift. Let's not waste it.

Happy New Year!