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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Quadding around at the lake is so much fun! I love taking in the area and exploring God's wonderful creation in this way. We find new trails all the time.
The sunsets are gorgeous! We often go with another couple and explore. This year Roger & I would love to go on a full day and maybe overnight night trip. There's always so much area that we haven't seen to explore.
Trouble is, when you wanna give your hubby a kiss cause you're feeling so romantic on the quad, the helmets pose a bit of a problem when it comes to that. :-)
Then there's times when you come across water on the trail and the man just 'knows' you can make it through. :-) But, you don't. Then, he's the one that has to walk through the slime to rescue his damsel in distress. :-) And rescue me he did! What a guy! Good thing he didn't get the beaver itch. hee-hee

Thank you God for these great times we have and wonderful memories we are building together.
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Child Evangelism - 5 Day Club - The Mailbox Club

The past 2 summers, I've been involved with CEF - Child Evangelism Fellowship of SK. It's an organization that's been around for many years and it's nationwide - it expands into the rest of Canada and into the US and I believe it goes internationally as well. In SK, the headquarters are down in Regina. You can check out more info on their website - this site is nationwide. You can also check out the Regina site - to find out more information on the different types of clubs they offer throughout the year and different outreach programs they have. It's a very good site.
So, for the summer, what CEF does is after 2 weeks of training, CEF sends out Christian youth missionary workers throughout the communities in their regions across the country during the summer months. They offer a 5 Day club all over -it's an exciting fun-filled hour club that has stories, songs and games. The kids learn about Jesus, other missionaries, they memorize Bible verses, bring friends and are given the opportunity to do Bible lessons at home throughout the week. They earn points for each activity they do and at the end of the week they receive a prize based on the points they've earned. The Bible lessons they do can become an ongoing thing for the kids. They can receive them in the mail or they can complete them on the internet.
I remember attending this club in my hometown when I was a kid - it was something to fill part of the summer with and it was fun to go to with my friends. I remember completing these Bible lessons through the mail for years and years. I loved getting my own mail and receiving gifts and prizes for achieving certain levels. Now my own kids have completed some of the lessons and they've attended the clubs. I love hosting the club at our 2nd home at the lake each summer.
I've been involved with organizing clubs in the Midwestern part of SK (Big River, Shellbrook, Shell Lake, Spiritwood, Blaine Lake areas) for the past couple of years and it's been so exciting seeing these kids eagerly coming to these clubs, watching these kids learning about Jesus and accepting Him as their personal Savior. Last year was the first time we'd gone out on one of the Native Reserves. This year, a few more reserves have opened up their doors to allow these Chrisitan youth mission workers to come and share the 5 Day Club on their reserves. It's been so exciting! Last year, on one of the reserves that we went on, 34 kids came to the club, 31 of them didn't go to church and 5 of the kids had accepted Christ. Very cool! Another town in the area, 26 kids came, 19 didn't go to church and 6 kids accepted Christ. In another town, 9 kids came to the club, 4 kids didn't attend church and 6 kids accepted Christ. Whooohoooo! Man, I can just hear the angels rejoicing up in Heaven because of all of these kids coming to know Jesus.
In 2005, 3,367 kids had attended these clubs all over SK. 225 kids accepted Christ as their Savior. 14,043 Bible lessons had been received. 96 cities and towns had clubs. 236 5 Day Clubs were held. Isn't that exciting and just way too cool?? I love it! I know God is very pleased with this work that is being done for Him and to help build His Kingdom. Kids are the most precious to Him and they are so easily influenced. It is so important to teach kids about God and Heaven - that is the most important job of parents.
These clubs also prepare these young youth workers for going out into the mission field to other communities and then on to other countries and presenting the Gospel - the message of Jesus Christ and God's Love. That's what life is about - spreading God's Word and advancing His Kingdom - sharing the Love of God and bringing the people He loves so much to a close personal relationship with Him. Thank you God for these wonderful opportunities we have to serve You in this way.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

It's a God Thing

I took wedding pictures the other weekend. It was an absolute honor to be there. It was also a total God thing that I was there. It's just so incredible how God works in, and through and around our lives and intertwines people together.

A while back, in one of my earlier journal entries, I had shared with you of when I was cooking at a Bible Camp and I had felt God leading me to share part of my testimony with the counselors of the camp. One of the ladies that I was cooking with that week, was also listening to my testimony. Her daughter was not living at home at the time and making the same wrong choices that I had been making 17 years ago when I was only 15 years old. I had shared how I had left home at 15, gone against everything my parents tried to teach me and turned against God. During this time I had met a wonderful man but we were both living a life that was not pleasing to God. At a time when I had no place to live and I refused to go back home, a dear friend suggested that I go work up at a Bible camp and that's where I met God for who He really was. I rededicated my life, moved back home, finished school and got engaged. My soon to be husband became a believer, a Christian before we got married (praise the Lord!) and we've now been married nearly 17 years.

When I shared my testimony at this Bible camp, little did I know that God would use this to bring this woman back into my life 3 years later. I'll never forget the words she said to me back then, "Lisa, you've given me hope. You've given me hope that my daughter will come back home and come back to the Lord."
This past February, my son had a basketball tournament in another town. I was watching his games and I remembered this lady whom I met 3 years ago lived with her family near this town. I went and knocked on her door. She remembered who I was and invited me in for coffee. I told her that over the past 3 years, I had thought about and prayed for her and her daughter many a time and asked how things were going. With much excitement she told me that her daughter had come back home, finished school, quit the wild life, was going to church, her boyfriend had received Christ and their lives had completely turned around! Amazing! God is so good and is so faithful in answering prayer! There had been an incredible change in their daughter. As a family they were going on a missions trip to Africa and then there would be a wedding in the summer but they hadn't yet found a photographer. :-) hmmmmm... Well, I slipped out my card and a couple days later I was asked to be the photographer for the wedding. She had taken me into the shop where these two young people were working and they were listening to the Bible on CD - they did that everyday! WOW! God is so cool!

On the wedding day, I had such an incredible feeling of being used by God and being a small part of his Great Big Plan of life. Again, I felt led to share part of this story with everyone at the reception. I said, "Every now and then you get a small glimpse of God's Big Picture in life and this was one of those times." It was such an incredible honor to be a part of this very special day. This young girl had rebelled against her parents teaching and against God but then realized the error of her own selfish ways and chose God, and so did her boyfriend. Together they chose to have a Godly wedding and to make God #1 in their marriage. I am so proud of them and so were their parents and you can bet that the angels were celebrating too.
It was an emotional day with very full hearts. It was a dual celebration - a celebration of a prodigal son & daughter who came back to God and a celebration of new lives beginning together as one through a God-honoring marriage. It was a day to celebrate who God was and what He had done!

This had been my story, our story, mine & Roger's. You know, God always brings people into your life that go through similar things that you have gone through to encourage, support and pray for them. You never go through tough times in life for nothing - there's always a purpose behind it all - and a perfect plan. God's plan to bring people back to Him.

This day also brought back many memories of our life and our marriage. Has is always been perfect? No marriage is but when you keep God in your marriage, you can work through anything. There have been ups and downs, that's how life is, but God is always there, helping us through - just like He will do with this young couple. There may still be consequences for wrong choices that have been made in our pasts, but God can ALWAYS bring good out of anything and use it to teach us and bring us closer to Him. So, I was celebrating too because on this day, God was reminding me where He had brought Roger & I through, where He had brought us from and He was giving me glimpses of where He was bringing us to.

Thank you God that I was able to be a part of this awesome celebration. Bless this wonderful couple as they begin a new life together with You! Thank you for all you have done! Amen
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Father's Day just passed. I think it's often a day of mixed feelings. Fathers here on earth are not always perfect. When you think of it, none of us are ever perfect. We will not be perfect until we reach Heaven.
God gave us earthly fathers to raise us and train us and to set an example for us. That example can be a good example and most fathers try their best from what they know to raise us but the example they set before us isn't always a good one. That's life. There are not always good examples around us and we all make mistakes. As a parent myself, I am well aware of the mistakes I make everyday.

That's why we have God. And that's why He sent Jesus. God loved us so much that He sent His Son to be the perfect example for us. Jesus is the only perfect man who ever lived and He is our prime example of love. Jesus walked on this earth - He knows the tests we go through each day and He sympathizes with us and He knows how often we fail. That's why He chose to die for our sins - He was obedient to the Father and took our place. We don't realize how sinful we are until we accept fully what Jesus did on that cross and believe in Him. God knew we couldn't go through life on our own - He never meant for us to be alone. When Jesus rose after dying on the cross, He ascended into Heaven and a few days later, God sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in His believers to guide and direct us. God dwells in us through the Holy Spirit if we let Him.

God holds us through it all - through all of life - He never lets us go. If we are open to His leading and if we believe in His Son, He leads us through life on this earth. He knows what we need to build our integrity, our character and our love. There will be tests and trials on this earth and there will be people, including our parents, who will not always treat us right. There will be times when we ourselves will not always treat others right. But God is there, walking with us and guiding us through. He is loving us unconditionally all the time. God is Love! He is nurturing us, forgiving us when we confess that we've made mistakes and when we've chosen the wrong things, He is holding us when we need comfort, He is disciplining us when we go our own way and we follow our own desires rather than His. He is always there. Our earthly father is not always there and they don't always teach us the right ways, but God, as our Heavenly Father, teaches and guides us. He has given us His Word, the Bible, as our map to follow down life's pathway. He has given us His Spirit to be our conscience. He is watching and waiting for the right time to bring us home after we've gone through what He needs us to go through on this earth.
Thank you God for never leaving my side and for guiding me through this life. Thank you for being my Heavenly Father and for being the perfect example that I can follow. It is my desire Father, to honor you, to worship you with all my heart and to come and live with you forever someday. Help me to be a good example to others and forgive me when I fall short. Thank you for my father who did the best that he knew how to raise me. Thank you for all you've taught me through my upbringing, through the good and the bad. Thank you for softening my heart to be open to You and Your Son. I love you Father. Amen.

(the first picture is one that I personally took but the following 2 pics are ones that were sent to me over email that I thought were very fitting for this) Lisa
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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Empty Cross

Yes, the cross is empty. Even though the sun goes down each evening, the Son never goes down. He never stayed on that cross. He died, yes, but He also arose from the dead and is now in Heaven making our heavenly home ready for all those who believe in Him. I can't wait.

I love seeing the cross empty because that's what it is - it's empty. Each of these pictures has a different light and contrast to it even though it's the same cross.
Once you move the camera up more into the sky it's amazing how the colors change. God has made so many fantastic colors in our world and I love experiment with them in pictures. Here I was practically on the ground looking up into the sky. It gives the cross such a large, very powering look. The cross is extremely powerful - without it we wouldn't have eternal life. It is through Jesus that we can live eternally in heaven after our time here on earth is over.
Here in the distance, you see the cross that is on top of the steeple in the distance. This church is near the Gabriel Dumont Bridge between Rosthern and Wakaw. Each time I pass it, I gotta take pics of the cross cause it's so beautiful. :-) Posted by Picasa

Track and Field Day

"Hey mom, look at me, I'm flyin high!" I love this shot! She's lookin right at the camera and lovin the feelin of flyin over that bar. She looks great and she did so good. She advanced to the next level for the district track meet with 3 other schools in high jump and in ball throw. She beat her personal best in both events! It was a good day!

Okay, who's passing to who? Here I was looking for both of my girls and thought I only found one then I realized that another one was comin down the track so I got them both in this shot. Pretty cool!! So tell me, who do you think is passing to who?? :-) I love watching them try their best and havin fun.

I love gettin the kids in the air. I think I've got a shot at some point of each of my kids right in mid air. Each of them has such an individual form - so unique. She's tryin hard and even has a smile for mom. :-) She did great on this day and kept a really good attitude.
Track can be such a fun day especially when the weather was warm. Of course, for the kids, the run to the concession booth at lunch time for some freezies is the best race of all. :-)

Here we're at the district track in Prince Albert. This guy did really good at the school level of track in shot put, javelin and discus. He came in 4th in discus by fractions but both in shot put and in javelin he got gold and he got to go to the districts. He did his personal best in both - way to go!
All our kids did great and had great sportsmanship in all their events. We're so proud of them! It's a fun day with their friends with some healthy competition. I'm so thankful to God that I am able to watch our kids in their events and to take part in their school activities and be involved in their lives to catch moments like these.
Thank you God for our kids! :-) They are a precious gift from you. Posted by Picasa