Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Barn Playhouse

Our son Brandon, was in a play at the Barn Playhouse this year. They just finished their last performance, #17, on Dec. 17. It was for their Christmas Dinner Theatre. He absolutely loved it!! I've never seen him so excited about something before! He did such a good job! He played the part of a 17 year old runaway boy who got mistaken by the town sheriff as 'Mack's' grandson whom Mack hadn't seen in years. Mack knew he wasn't his grandson but didn't let on. The sheriff, 'Beebo' led everyone else to believe that 'Ryan', Brandon, was 'Mack's' grandson. Brandon sure enjoyed these 2 men in this play - they were great 'grandfather/father' figures for him - they had a lot of laughs together. God, thank you for these 2 men who blessed Brandon in this season of his life. I know he'll never forget them and the friendship that they developed over this short time. Bless them greatly for being a good example for Brandon and the rest of the actors on the set.

He loved acting together with this super bunch of people. It sure gave him some extra self confidence. Here he was dressed up like Ceasar in the Christmas play telling this young guy to go and tax the world. It was hilarious!! Thank you God for all the kids that Brandon had fun with in this play. Thank you for the example he was to them - help him God to be the person that You want him to be and that he'll be a good example that younger kids can look up to.

Here's the whole bunch! They all made some good friendships and had a blast working together for 2 months on this production. Everyone did an incredible job!! Vicki, the director pictured on the left, does an incredible job with the actors and makes memorizing seem really easy. The way she has them practicing, Brandon never did any memorizing at home and by the time the performances came, he had the whole script memorized! Unreal!! He had one of the lead roles so he had ALOT to memorize. It was a big commitment (over 1900 km of driving) but it was worth every minute and every mile. :-) Thank you God for all of these people who were a part of this production. I pray that each one will come to have a personal relationship with you if they haven't already. Draw them all closer to You God and watch over them and bless each one of them. Thank you for Vicki and the encouragement she was to Brandon and for giving him this opportunity.

I think Brandon loved these 2 old ladies the best! They were wonderful 'grandmother' figures for him. He made them laugh alot and they also made him laugh too. As Ethel, 'Miss Alice' would put it - they had a hoot!! God, bless these dear ladies for loving Brandon and having such a fun time with him. He'll never forget them. Thank you for the example they set for him and the friendship they built together.

It's definitely an experience that Brandon'll never forget! I think we're onto something here - now he thinks maybe he wants to go into acting. He'd sure be good at it. I think he'd also make a great comedian, or a sports or weather announcer with his incredible improv voice - yes, he'd make a super improv comedian too. It's definitely a gift God's given him and I pray that he will use it to be a blessing to others and to bring glory to God. He already has in dramas at church and now in The Barn Playhouse.

Thank you God for Brandon and for this wonderful opportunity he had. Posted by Picasa

I Love My Church

I LOVE MY CHURCH! Church is my home. I love going to church, singing in church, meeting my friends at church, serving God at my church, finding support and encouragement and comfort at my church, praying with people in my church.....I LOVE MY CHURCH! In the Bible it talks about not giving up meeting together with other believers and to never stop praying together and having fellowship together. That's what I love about my church! It's my family! And if I miss going one Sunday, for the rest of the week it feels like something is missing, it feels like I missed out - like I don't have the strength I need to go into a new week. That what church does for me, it gives me strength for the week to take on anything that comes into my path. It keeps me from becoming too discouraged and depressed and to know that I've gone with God's blessing into the week and that I've started the week off right by taking a day of rest. For me that includes taking that time to go to church each week and having that worship time with other believers and listening to God's Word through the message given by the pastor and gaining wisdom by it. It's encouraging, uplifting, comforting, exhalting, - it pumps me up for the week! It's the best drug out there - I can't do without it!! :-)

Church isn't just about the's about the people. When Jesus is talking about the church in the Bible, he's not talking about a building, he's talking about people. The people, Christian people, make up the church. It's a family of believers and they're all over the world. The building is just a common place where we meet with other believers to sing, pray, have fellowship, and worship God together. It's also a place where we can eat together and do other wholesome activities together as a family who believe in God. I LOVE IT!!
In this picture, we're all dressed up in Bible times costumes performing our Easter drama production one year. It's so great to sing, act and perform together bringing glory to God.

Church is also a place where our kids, any kids, can develop their talents and gifts to the glory of God. Whether it's singing, playing a musical instrument, computer work, artwork, working with kids, or carpentry....whatever their gift is, this is a place they can use their giftings to be a blessing to others and to serve God with. It's a place where kids feel safe. It's a place where they can come and play with their friends, meet with their friends and grow up together. Kid's clubs, Sunday school, and Youth groups are excellent aspects of the church that kids of all ages love. In this picture here the kids are singing in the Christmas kids choir and blessing everyone listening. They were great!!

Another incredibly special aspect of church that I LOVE is getting together with a group of ladies to talk about God and to study His Word, the Bible, through Bible study and prayer. That has been the most impacting part of my life - being involved in a Bible study group. When you are studying God's word together with other believers, you develop a bond like no other. These friendships are everlasting frienships. There's nothing on this earth that you can take with you to Heaven when you die. BUT, there's those friendships with people who believe in God and His Son Jesus who came down to this earth to die for our sins and who rose again and is now living in heaven preparing a place for us. Those are everlasting friendships and that is the only thing you can take with you to Heaven. All the earthly things are left behind here on this earth and will eventually be destroyed. Nothing lasts forever except for those relationships that you make with others who believe in God and His Son, Jesus. It is only through Jesus that we have acceptance into Heaven - if you don't believe in Jesus, you don't go to heaven, it's as simple as that.

We'd just finished a Bible study, More of Christ, with this group of ladies. It was incredible. It was about the Beautitudes - I talk about it in a previous blog. There was this one lady, Sara, who was in the study with us - she's from England. She's now moved back there but she took an extra copy of the Bible study with her and would like to take that study with a Christian group of ladies out there. So now, someday when God takes me to England, I can visit her and I'll have a place to stay. :-) God brings all sorts of people through our lives - some for long term and others just for a season but it's always for a specific reason that He brings those people into our lives. I again thank God for each one. We are to be a blessing to each other and to encourage each other in the Lord. Thank you God for Sara.....and all the others ladies you've brought through my life. I have learned something from each one.

I LOVE MY CHURCH! It's a line that is often used by our pastor at church and it's something that sticks with me. I love the people, I love the music, I love the kids, I love the everlasting friendships, I love the prayer, I love the worship times, I love knowing that there are always people praying for me, I love the fact that I can always be open and honest, I love, I love, I love my church. Is the church perfect?? Are the people perfect?? NO!! We are all human beings born with a tendancy to make wrong choices, say the wrong thing or look at someone the wrong way. We are human - we all make mistakes and we all need forgiveness. That's also why I love my church because we can talk and work things through, pray together, ask for wisdom together and forgive each other. It's a place where you feel you belong, where you are part of a large worldwide family. It's home!! It's my family!! I love it!!

My home church is Cornerstone Church - has been for 18 years. Their website is You're all welcome anytime!!
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2007 SK Scenic Calendar

I'm so incredibly excited!! My prayers have been answered, a dream has come true, God has given me a desire of my heart!!! Get the picture yet?? :-)

I've always dreamed of having my pictures in a calendar and now they are! 6 of mine and God's photos were chosen to be shown in this 2007 SK Scenic Calendar. I say they're God's photos too because if He hadn't given me the gift of photography, then these photos wouldn't be in here in the first place.

The front page photo of the northern lights is not mine - it is a photo of Dennis Chamberlain who is a photographer in the Candle Lake are - his work is displayed at the Timberland Gallery at Candle Lake. His website is

The yellow field is a photo that I took near Shellbrook, SK. Near Martins Lake is where I took the photo of the horseriders rounding up their cattle. Warman is featured in the calendar with the photo that I took of the frost with the red barn just on the west side of Warman across from the graveyard at the edge of town. The other photos that are featured in this calendar of the ones that I took, include ones taken at Memorial Lake, Emma Lake, and Christopher Lake.

I've sold over 2000 of these calendars - which was far beyond what I ever imagined. I've been offering them businesses in the area in bulk and to have their business advertised on the bottom of it, just like I did with Lisa's Pic's. This is something that we, myself and the printing company - Page One Digital in Saskatoon - would like to do on a continuing yearly basis. My dream is to take part in another SK calendar, but also to have an Inspirational Calendar with scripture verses from the Bible on each photo. That's the goal for a 2008 calendar, featuring my photos with scripture verses.

If you would like to order any calendars - I have a few left for 2007 - contact me anytime. You can already begin placing your orders for the 2008 calendars - we would like to have them completed by the end of April so that we can have them ready for distribution by the end of summer.

Thank you God for again giving me the desires of my heart. When we are doing things to bring you honor and glory, you are quick to anwer our prayers. Thank You! It is because of the gift you have given me, that I am able to in turn bless others with this gift. I am humbled by your generosity of so many blessings in my life and the people that you have brought into my life because of this gift of photography you have given to me. I thank you soooooo much for each and every person you have brought through my life. Bless them Father, be close to them, comfort them and draw them closer to You each day. I pray that each one of them comes to a personal relationship with You through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen
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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Do Not Be Afraid

Something else really struck me today.
Many of you know I've been struggling with health issues and going through various amounts of testing with different doctors and such. When you're going through things like this, issues with your health or with your kids, or your spouse or parents, your mind can really play tricks on you if you let it. That's why it's so important where your focus is. Is your focus on yourself and your circumstances, or is your focus on God and others?? When your focus is on yourself, it's easy to become fearful of all the 'what ifs'. Lately, I've had some 'what if?' moments, But I thank God for prayer and the power of His strength in me to overcome those fearful moments.

A verse I read today really struck me on top of other studies that I've been working on and sharing with you today on my blog. I just finished sharing in a previous post about having a 'fear of God'. This kind of ties in with that. Psalm 112:7-8 "{Those who fear the Lord} do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumpantly." Another favorite is Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. The Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
( )
I absolutely love that verse! It's become a daily verse with me - I also sing the song - it's on one of the kids' CDs.

So, it doesn't matter what comes my way, I don't need to be afraid because God is watching over me. He already knows the outcome of all these tests and He knows where I will be in the years to come. He will be watching over me and He will be with me because He has promised that He will never leave me or forsake me. (Hebrews 13:5). In all my hurts, my struggles and my temptations, there is no more wonderful a promise than this. No matter where I go, God goes with me! This verse is like Jesus saying to me "I want to be with you; I gave myself to you; I gave myself for you. Do you really think I would ever forsake you?" No, he never would. It's in my own fears and my sins that I pull myself away from God, putting a wall between us and putting distance between us - it's never Him leaving me. He's always there, right there, patiently waiting for me to take His hand through this all. He's just a prayer away. When I call to Him, He will hear me and answer me. What encouragement - what a promise!!

You know, we need times like these to draw us closer to God. We need times of trials and testing to build our character and to stretch our faith. God knows what we need to draw closer to Him and fully rely and trust in Him. When life is going smooth and things are looking real well, we often tend to forget about God and He gets left on the wayside. God allows certain things to happen in our lives to teach us, correct us, draw us back to Him and also to show us how much He loves us. But through it all, the worst thing we could do is push Him away and not trust Him. He knows how it will all come about and He knows the blessings that will come out of it no matter how terrible the circumstance is. TRUST. That's all I need to do - that's all we all need to do. Just Trust Him.

God bless you!

Fear of God

I've been reading today that "the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom".

Psalm 111:10 "Reverance {fear} for the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. The rewards of wisdom come to all who obey him. Praise his name forever!"
Proverbs 1:7 "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Only fools despise wisdom and discipline."
Proverbs 9:10 "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Knowledge of the Holy One results in understanding."

So, what is fear of the Lord?? Does that mean we're to be afraid of Him, of God?? Yes and no. Fear is a good thing, you know. If we were not afraid of getting hit by a car, we would walk across the street without looking both ways first. Here's a quote from a book I've been studying for a while "Created to Be His Help Meet" ( ) - 'if women never slump onto a couch and weeps for their loss and loneliness, if children never curse their parents, if no one ever experiences shame and regret, then fear is foolish and anyone who would promote it would be an enemy of humanity. But if our choices can bring us to miserable ends, then fear is the healthiest detterent we can have.' Fear is the beginning of wisdom. 'Life without fear is a fool's paradise. A Christian life without fear is a religious life without a living God. What physical pain is to the preservation of the human body, fear is to the preservation of the soul.' This made a lot of sense to me. So, the true way to become wise is to fear God.

The following are some notes from the above verses that I've taken out of my Bible, which is the New Living Translation: "Becoming wise is not by life experience and academic knowledge alone. If we don't acknowledge God as the source of wisdom, then our foundation for making wise decisions is shaky, and we are prone to mistakes and foolish choices. Wisdom is a basic attitude that affects every aspect of life. Fear of God is to honor and respect God, to live in awe of his power and to obey His Word. Faith in God should be the controlling principle for our understanding the world, our attitudes and our actions. We need to trust God - He will make us truly wise. Wisdom also begins with knowing God - He gives us insight to living because He created life. To know God - to know the facts about Him - we all need a personal relationship with Him. To be truly wise, we need to get to know God better and better." How do we get to know Him better and better? Read His Word, The Bible, daily and pray.

This really impacted me today and I wanted to share it with you. :-)
God bless you!

More of Christ

I've just finished leading a very indepth study called "More of Christ". What an incredibly rewarding study and it taught me so much. It is based on the Beatitudes found in Matthew 5:1-12 in the Bible. It taught us how to become poor in our spirit - realizing our need for God; learning how to mourn over our sin - realizing our sinful state and all our impurities; and learning how to become meek - being gentle and lowly and not proud. After these 3 characteristics empty themselves from our soul, God gives us a hunger and thirst for His righteousness - yearning for what is right and good and pure. Then when God fills us with His righteousness, we become more merciful and less judging of others, we become pure in heart - knowing and wanting what is pure in God's sight, and we become peacemakers - learning to live at peace with others around us. As we do these things, we will become more like Jesus Christ, who is our leader, our guide, our ultimate example of who we are to become like - who we are to follow. Then we become the salt (which is delicious and tasteful) and light (shining - being a star - brightening) in a dark world. But as we yearn to shine light into the dark places of our world, we will be persecuted for what we believe and for the faith that we have. Let's read Matthew 5:1-12:

The Sermon on the Mount - The Beatitudes

1One day as the crowds were gathering, Jesus went up the mountainside with his disciples and sat down to teach them. 2This is what he taught them:
3 "God blesses those who realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them.
4 God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 God blesses those who are gentle and lowly, for the whole earth will belong to them.
6 God blesses those who are hungry and thirsty for justice, for they will receive it in full.
7 God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
9 God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
10 God blesses those who are persecuted because they live for God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

11"God blesses you when you are mocked and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers. 12Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted, too.

These are the Beatitudes - a description of what we should be like as Christ's followers. They don't promise us laughter, pleasure, or earthly prosperity BUT what they do promise are God's blessings! Being blessed by God means the experience of hope and joy, which are the deepest form of happiness, having the hope and joy of the Lord regardless of our outward circumstances. This teaches us to follow Jesus no matter what the cost. God's promises in His Word don't promise us wealth, power and authority like the world does. When we're focussed on the Kingdom of Heaven, there are different blessings and benefits available and there are different attitudes involved. A Christian's attitudes shouldn't be a carbon copy of this world's selfishness, pride and lust for power but should rather reflect the humility and self-sacrifice of Jesus, our Heavenly King.
WOW! It's just such good stuff - I can't get enough of learning from God's Holy Book - The Bible. Each time I pick it up, I learn something new. I can't wait for the next study!!

I've been leading Bible Studies with women for over 12 years and each time I have been so rewarded with all that I've learned from the Bible together with these studies. So many women have come through these studies and each one has been such a blessing to me. We learn so much from each other when we study God's Word together and have fellowship like this. It's so much more rewarding than just having a "coffee" together. Don't get me wrong, I love having coffee together too, but when you get together with others to discuss God's Word and pray through daily challenges, what a difference it makes in one's life. It is so encouraging to have those wholesome friendships and that prayer support. If you are not involved in a Bible study group, I really encourage you to become involved in one - you won't be sorry. :-)

God bless you!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Address Change

This came to me over email and I liked it. So, again, I thought I'd share it with you all.

This is my change of address notice:
I have moved out from 1 Beggars Alley, located at 2 Poverty Lane at the corner of Bleak and Buster Circle . As of today, I have a brand new home!!!

My new address is:
Living Well on 3 Abundance Drive, located at the corner of Blessings Street and Prosperity Peak . No longer will I allow myself to travel on Begging Peter to pay off Paul route, located at a dead end Intersection Called: I Don't Have. It connects with Borrowers Junction. I no longer hang out at Failure's Place, near Excuses Avenue, next to the Procrastination Point. I've moved on to an Upscale Community called Higher Heights with unlimited potential and opportunities for me to succeed. Look at me, each day that I'm awake, I am thankful to be a product of my new environment. All my clothes are tailor made - I'm dressed in life's finest. Let me introduce you to all of them: Conceive, Believe, Act on, Have Faith, Be Persistent, and Always be Prepared to Achieve. Life is good because God is good!

Care to change your address? There are many vacancies! This is what I'm talking about putting God first and not letting other people control "your" destiny!!!

Being happy doesn't mean everything's perfect. It means you've decided to see beyond the imperfections.

God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but HE did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears & light for the way.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Purpose Driven Life

This following excerpt of an interview done with Rick Warren, author of "Purpose Driven Life" (website ) was sent to me over the email. I really enjoyed reading it and I thought it would be great to share on my blog. Personally, I have yet to read The Purpose Driven Life (What on earth am I here for?) but I've had Bible studies on it and many people I know have gone through it. I've also done studies on a 2nd part of the book, Purpose Driven Community (What on earth are WE here for?) which is also a very, very good book. I hope you enjoy reading this interview and allow God to speak to you through it.

This is an interview with Rick Warren, "Purpose Driven Life" author and the Pastor of Saddleback Church in California. Rick's wife now has cancer, and he now has "wealth" from the book sales.

In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:

"People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven. One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body--but not the end of me. I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity. We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense. Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.

This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer. I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for. You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems. If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, which is "my problem, my issues, my pain." But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her. It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy. It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease. So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases.
Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.
Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.
Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)? When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings."

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.

This is beautiful and food for the soul. A friend sent it to me, I shared it with you, now pick someone you want to bless and share it with them. God wants us to share with each other and bless each other. I know when someone does, it blesses my day.

God loves you - this is the day that He has made. Have a blessed Lord's day!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Carried Away

Last night, I took my girls into the city to see a Christian music group called "Carried Away". (website is ) They consist of 2 sisters and a cousin, Pam, Christine, and Colleen. My girls just love them. They were at Scott Parables after school and then in the evening they had a concert at Central Pentecostal College. At Parable's, we had a great opportunity to sit and visit with them in the Cafe. We thoroughly enjoyed it.

Our world is so bombarded with bad influences for our kids. It is so refreshing to come across a group that encourages purity, honesty, and encourages young people to follow Jesus. My girls look up to these 3 young ladies and I have no problem with that. They love God, love to sing about Him, they love to share their faith and worship Him with their music. It's so good to go to a concert and worship God, not the idols who are performing.

After the concert, we were able to visit a little more. These two young singers are sisters so we just had to get a sisters 'shot'. My girls will never forget this day.

Thank you Pam, Colleen and Christine for sharing this day with us. Thank you for your love for God and the love that you have for sharing your faith and God's gifts with those around you. You all have angelic voices and you will be blessed for using those voices to sing about the God you love and sharing your faith in your music. You have wonderful gifts. You're beautiful inside and out because of God in your lives. Your gracefulness in your performance was outstanding in spite of the lack of the audience you could've had. Thank you for the message of grace, purity, love, forgiveness and faith that you share. Your faithful example to the younger generation will be well received by parents who are looking for the right influences for their children. God bless you as you continue to serve Him with your voices and music. Thank you for impacting the lives of my daughters. I pray you will cross our paths again some day. Until then, I look forward to the day when we will all be "carried away" with Jesus to live forever with Him in Heaven.
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Who's the Kid??

One day after a major rainfall at the lake, Roger decided we should go out for a bike ride as a family. Wow! Were there puddles! And did they have fun! I had a hard time discerning who was the bigger kid - the dad, the boy or the girls. :-)

Brandon had a major wipeout but no bruises - just wetness. Well, after that, the getting wet and falling down didn't stop. Kyrstin tried walking around in the puddles barefoot for a while but soon realized it was just too cold.

Just like the energizer bunny, Roger, the biggest kid, just kept going and going and going. I think he was having more fun splashing the kids as he drove by. This mom had a wonderful time just standing by with the camera and staying dry. :-)

Alysha, she took her boots off and ran through the puddle a lot. Water just kept getting in the boots so why not take the boots off. :-) The tents in the backround were a little water logged as well. The rain can be fun!! Why sit inside and pout when you can be having fun outside in the puddles. hee-hee Posted by Picasa

My Calling to Love my Husband

I'm just going through a personal study called "Created to be His Help Meet" by Debi Pearl. (website address ) What an incredible book for all wives. It's a book on discovering how God can make your marriage glorious. It's a great book and it has taught me a lot. It is really speaking to me and showing me, through God's Word the Bible, where my place is in my marriage and in my life. When I chose to be married, I chose to become my husband's helper. I haven't always done well at that, but through grace, mercy and testing, God is showing me how to be the helper to my husband that He wants me to be. I don't have to listen to everyone else tell me what I need to do and who I need to be, but what's most important is that I'm listening to God show me and tell me who He wants me to be.
I know God wants me to love my husband no matter what. God has shown me that I am God's gift to my husband - I was created to fill a need-his need. I want to be what God created me to be. I know God is using me to help my husband to be more caring and sensitive, because men are not naturally that way - but even if he's not, to love him anyway. How many times does my husband have to love me in spite of all my faults and quircky ways. How many times do my children have to love me in spite of the mistakes that I make with selfish parenting ways at times.
God has not finished His work in me. God is teaching me how to uphold my husband in prayer and love. God wants me to teach my children an example of a godly marriage and a devoted wife through the good times and bad. I am to show my husband daily how much I love him and appreciate him. I am to serve Him in love, not resentment, bitterness or anger. What good does it do me if I feel that I have to show him in a resentful way what he has done to hurt me, or if I wanna make him 'see' my hurt feelings by my petty, selfish ways. That does me no good. God didn't create me to be selfish and look after my own interests and desires and to neglect my husband or my children. He created me to be a helper and to sacrifice what 'I want' to serve my family, in spite of times that they will or have hurt me with unkind words or actions.
When I became one with my husband, I committed myself before God and witnesses and my husband, to love him till death us do part. I love my husband dearly, with all my heart. God knew exactly who to send me to be my partner for life. He knew exactly who I needed to compliment my characteristics and to meet me halfway with our differences. God gave me the perfect man for me - He knew best. I love God for giving me the husband that He did. We have been so blessed with over 17 years of marriage, a wonderful church family, beautiful children, parents who love us and raised us the best they knew how in spite of the circumstances of their own difficult lives and upbringings. No things haven't always been perfect, what marriage is perfect, but God has led us through all the way. I praise Him for where He has brought us from, I praise Him for where He is bringing us to, and I praise Him for everything He has done in our lives together.

Continue to teach me Lord to be the wife that You want me to be. Forgive me for the times that I have been selfish, wanting my own way, and not turning to You for guidance each day. God, you have not called me to love anyone on my own - I need your love to love to the fullest. I need You God, to show me the extent of Your forgiveness and mercy so that I can bestow it to others around me. Each day Lord, I need to lean on You to show me the way and to guide me through the challenges of parenting our children and loving my husband the way You want me to. You've created me Lord to be my husband's help meet, to be his helper and I can only follow that calling in my life with your help - I cannot do it on my own. Life's pressures and temptations each day bombard me to take my focus off of You, Lord, help me to stay on track. So many marriages are falling apart all around us God, and I pray that will never happen to us. My desire is to have You first in our marriage, in my life, and in my children's lives. May we never leave Your teachings, Your ways, O God, may our desire always be to follow You with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind. Thank you for loving me, cherishing me, and creating me. Thank you most of all for sending Your Son Jesus to die on the cross to forgive us our sins, rising again and now living in Heaven so we can have eternal life. And thank you so, so, so much for giving me the husband that you did - a husband who loves me, protects me, provides for our family, cherishes me, makes me laugh, and is my best friend. Help me to be the best wife ever for my hubby. Amen.
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Fun with the Triplets

This summer we had spent some time at Emma Lake and had the joy of having a wonderful family join us for an afternoon. The triplets with their little brother came by.
We're having a watermelon feast here. They are so adorable. What fun they were! I think watermelon was one of their favorite summer foods. :-) So delicious on a hot day!
Our son, Brandon enjoyed having them come out as well. The 'little' boy in him came out with these busy guys. :-) I don't think the love of trucks ever becomes outgrown in a boy/man - I think they'll always love trucks no matter how old they are.
Roger came and showed them a fish that he and Brandon had caught. They'd never seen a fish up close before so they were in wonder of this slimy thing in the bucket. It was so much fun being with them.

I so much appreciate all the different people God brings into our lives. Each summer is filled with friends. New friendships are an ongoing thing and we have been so blessed by each relationship that has passed through our lives. God is continually working in us to teach us, nurture us and help us to grow and mature in love for Him and those around us. Every that comes into our lives, we have so much to learn from them. Each one is unique and special.
Thank you God for people, who are created in your image, created to know You and love You. May we be diligent in allowing others to see God in us and to know the love and sacrifice of Your Son Jesus. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tribute to Louis

You know, every now and then God brings incredible people into your lives. We have been so incredibly blessed by these individuals in our lives. They have taught us so much - they are friends that we will never forget no matter how much or how little we see them. Special people that we've seen raise their kids knowing the Good Lord and learning how to trust in Him through the difficulties of life. People that have touched our lives in many ways and who have often lended us their shoulders to cry on or ears to listen to and voices to encourage us. Individuals that have set an example to those around them.
Louis Dupuis was one of those people. Louis has went home to be with the Lord today. But, God, oh how it hurts to have him gone now. Cheryl, I can't imagine the deep grief you are going through once again. How does one cope when you've lost your baby daughter 5 years ago and now a husband, a wonderful, loving, caring, best friend of many, many years. One can only carry on in the strength of God. How else can you do it? God never meant for us to go through anything on our own, He wants to guide us and hold us through those difficult trying times of life. Keep on holding that Hand, Cheryl, don't let it go.

Louis, I'll never forget all those Bible study nights we had together at our place and your place together as couples. We learned so much together. Then Danae passed away and we all walked the deep valley together with you and Cheryl. I am so glad that God placed us there together with you.
We'll never forget your good humor and many smiles. You always encouraged others around you. You blessed those around you with your deep faith in God and you never left Him or gave up on Him even through the death of Danae. We'll always cherish the times we came to visit you at the cabin and the many times we talked with you in church. We always enjoyed the meat we got from Prairie Meats - they'll miss your leadership there so much. But you've left such a legacy for them all, Louis, for all of us. You've taught us all so much through your life here on earth.
Louis, Roger and I were honored and so blessed to sit with you & Cheryl at the wedding reception of Dave Kerr & Katherine Redekop. We know God's Hand was in that so we could enjoy one more visit and some laughs with you, just one more time. We'll never forget that - we'll always cherish that memory. God blessed me by allowing me to take this wonderful photo of you and Cheryl - you're so in love, having gone through so much together, being strengthened each day by God - you look so good here, in spite of the underlying deep grief the both of you are feeling at the time because of what you knew was to come. But yet, you held on so strongly to your faith in God, Louis, you were ready to meet the Lord...and your daughter who went on before you. You were at peace with God and everyone around you could see that. You were ready, Louis.

Even though we don't understand everything that comes our way in this walk of life here on earth, we know God is with us, guiding us and walking us through, never leaving us alone during the challenges of the ups and downs here on earth. He knows the plans of our lives. But it's so hard understanding that through such deep grief. The only option we have is to TRUST in God and wait patiently for this time to pass. Danae loved butterflies and so did Cheryl. I put this verse on this butterfly picture for you Louis. He knew this was going to happen - He knew what He wanted to accomplish in your life. Now He wanted you home - home with your daughter. Oh, what a reunion that will be. You'll hear the angels singing beautifully as you embrace together. I can't help but weep for joy for you at your reunion but I am also weeping sorrowfully for the deep grief that I know Cheryl and your 2 other daughters and your grandson and the rest of your family will feel being left behind and missing you ever so deeply. How hard it will be for a time - only for a time. This time too shall pass. We'll see you in Heaven some day, my friend, and I can't wait.

Louis Dupuis passed away at 1:40 pm on Tuesday, September 26, 2006
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Monday, September 25, 2006

What is Love?

I took a lot of wedding photos this past summer. I had so many things to learn at each one. God is forever stretching my boundaries and teaching me how He works through everything and everyone. This wedding here, I had taken up for a beautiful native couple. What fun I had! I was the only white woman at the wedding and there was so much to learn and observe as I watched the people during this entire day. The natives are a very laid back people - time is not crunching as it is in our white culture. If things ran late, that was okay - the world didn't end. At times I feel we allow time to control us way too much. Even though things were late, people were not stressed out. The next morning my family was late for breakfast at church by 10 minutes and we're freaking out! WOW! Are we ever high strung! Way too time restricted. We really choose to be so controlled and it shouldn't be that way. I had a wonderful day with this lovely couple and we took many beautiful pictures. I loved the setting they chose to have their pictures taken. Time did not rush us - it was okay that we were late - everyone forgave us - rather they expected things to be late. And it was okay.
The verse I chose for this couple comes from Jeremiah - God knows the plans that He has laid out for us - plans to give us a future and a hope - not plans to harm us. God is so good! He loves us all - He made us all - and He knows the outcome of each of our lives. These two people love each other and God brought them together. He has a purpose in mind for each of them and for a purpose for them together. As they journey through this marriage together, God will have His hand in their lives. And as they learn to trust in Him fully, they will be incredibly blessed.

What is love?? Love is all of these things. In our married lives, we really come to know what each of these aspects are about. Can you imagine love without any of these traits? It would not be a complete love. I've failed so many times at many of these characteristics but God is so forgiving and patient with me and guides me through every step of the way. When I think of the passage on the above photo with the wedding couple, God knows the plans that He has mapped out for us. This plan includes learning to love ourselves, learning to love others and learning to love God wholeheartedly. I yearn for this deep kind of love and only God can give it to me. There is no way possible that I am able to love in this way on my own. No way on this earth. Because that wasn't God's plan. He does not plan for us to journey this earth alone and confused. If we let Him, he guides us and holds our hand each step of the way and He provides us with His strength to endure every hardship and to love others the way He has planned for us to love. He created us to love - to love Him, to love ourselves because we are made in His image and to love those around us because they were all created in His image as well. We don't always make the choices that He desires us to make, but as we acknowledge them and realize the wrong choices that we make, and ask His forgiveness, He forgives us and gives us more chances to make the right choices that He's teaching us to make through His Word the Holy Bible. Thank you God for this. Teach us to love with your unfailing love.

Then it comes time for love within our own families. A Christian parent's greatest desire is for their children to follow the Lord, to believe in God and in His Son Jesus that He sent to die for our sins and to have eternal life. Jesus did not stay on that cross, but rose again on 3rd day and lives now in Heaven to prepare an eternal home for us. That is the Lord's desire for us as His children and that is a Christian parent's desire for their children. That they will grow in the knowledge and the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. This takes love. Why? Because we all make individual choices and we all make mistakes. Parents love their kids no matter what - through all the good and bad choices of their lives. We are all capable of taking the wrong road at one point or another but when we know that someone loves us through those wrong choices, what a difference that can make. Each family has a story to tell and each family has it's own challenges. But when we love each other, and pray for each other and encourage each other, familes can come through anything together. When a families motto is, "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord," it doesn't matter what happens to an individual, any attacks from the enemy, the Devil, to destroy that family will not happen. Things may fall apart for a time, but God has ways to bring families and individuals back to Him. His purpose for you in life is to have hope, not for you to despair or to give up. Families will be saved through love - love each other through the rough roads and valleys and rejoice together at the mountaintop experiences. "Be of good courage and do not fear, says the Lord. For I am with you. I will never leave you. I am always with you." These are God's words, not mine.

This one's a biggy. WHEW! It calls us to serve one another with love. What does it mean to serve? It means not to put yourself above anyone or anything - it means to be humble and do what you can to help others. Servanthood is a great sacrifice that we can make for one another. This is what marriage and family are all about - serving each other. How do we do things for others, do we carry them out with bitterness, resentment, duty and anger or do we do things for others out of love? God calls us to love unconditionally and again we can't do this without the love of God in us. We need God's love to unconditionally love others. God is love. We can be doing many things for others out of selfish ambition or to get a pat on the back but God calls us to love with no expectations in return. Wow! Do I still have a lot to learn!
Our culture is so much into "me" - do it for me, do it for yourself, you deserve it, it's all about you, you can be all you want to be, set your mind to is cause you can do it.... It goes on and on. God and self-sacrifice are completely out of the picture. Life is not all about me - all about us. It is about living out the purpose that God has for us in our lives here on earth and loving Him and others. Life is about serving others in love. Serving your family, your spouse, your church, your kids, your neighbors, serving God.....not serving ourselves. And serving those around us, not out of duty or selfish ambition, but serving in love. Serving because we are loved so much by God and serving because God calls that of us.
This picture above is of a bride and groom washing each other's feet. They began their marriage ceremony washing each other's feet, showing each other that they are there to serve the other. In the Bible, Jesus washed His disciples feet. He said, "the greatest among you must become the servant." He also said that He "didn't come to be served, but to serve." Jesus chose to serve His disciples and to set an example of what it is to be a servant. He wants the Christians, those who believe in Him, to be an example of servants as well. He is calling us to Serve one another in Love.
Lord, these are high callings you are calling us to. Give us the strength, the desire and the courage to stand boldly for you and to love one another, to serve one another in love, to teach our children to follow you and to serve you, and to be confident of the plans that you have set out for us - plans to give us a future and a hope (eternal life through Jesus Christ). Your plans are not to harm us O Lord, but to prosper us. Thank you for this promise. In Jesus name, Amen.
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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Memorial Hill Dedication

On June 17, there was a dedication ceremony for Memorial Hill. The Legion had just recently completed building stairs, putting up signs and a railing complete with benches going up to the Memorial Cross overlooking Memorial Lake.

The ceremony was complete with the Legion members dressed in their uniforms, 2 people playing bagpipes, the town mayor, the government area rep, and other promininent people involved in the dedication. It was a very nice dedication in spite of the rain shower that came down on us during the speeches. But we made it through and had a wonderful finish. The 4 wreathes were placed by the cross in memory of the 4 men that didn't make it back from the war. That is why the Memorial was established in the first place so many years ago. After the war, 4 of the 9 men hadn't made it back and so stones were collected from their land and this memorial was put in place.
If you're in the area, be sure to check it out and read up on history written on the plaque at the top of the hill near the cross.

Thank you God for those that fought for our freedom. Help us to never forget what was done for us during the war. But most of all, help us to daily live in peace with those around us and not to be at war within ourselves and with each other. Thank you for your daily provisions, your love, your forgiveness and your grace. Thank you for sending your Only Son Jesus to save us and that the cross is empty. He's alive and He's making an eternal home for those that choose to follow Him. Thank you Lord for this. Amen.
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Summer's Here!

Summer's here and we've been enjoying the outdoors so far. There've been interesting quadding adventures around the lake - nice rides, sunset rides and swampy rides. eeeeuuuuwww! :-) But, this wonderful man rescued his woman!! I didn't have to get wet.

Then, there are the wonderful times on the beach building sand castles and taking in the sun. We love it out there!

Oh the lovely challenging game of golf. Sometimes it goes the way you want and other times it doesn't. But, you gotta take it the way it comes and just enjoy being out there in God's creation. :-) Right Roger?? hee-hee

And there's the times you gotta work a little too so that's why we made a garden. When you're up at the lake so much, you can't play all the time. :-) Eating the fresh vegetables is good.

Thank you God for this beautiful place in SK that we can enjoy together as a family and with friends, building wonderful memories to cherish always.
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