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!