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Monthly Archives: November 2008

Hmm, I’ve been slacking off!

dsc02366I realise that I’ve been slacking off…shirking my blogging duties!

Not really a biggie, I know but it is something that I was trying to be faithful to and once again I am off track…oh well, I guess that’s why they say…”tomorrow is another day”…we get to start over.

Sometimes it’s just getting an inspiration, something to get me going. Usually when I’m ticked off, I have no problem coming up with an idea to blog about!

I know I haven’t been at this for long and it may be a bit soon to revisit a subject that I’ve already covered, but it has been on my mind, so I think I will go there, yet again.

The children’s Christmas song about Santa says: “He sees you when your sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness sake” and that reminds me of my post entitled; Nothing Can Be Hidden From God. Why do we continue to do what we know is wrong?

Psalm 139

“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in – behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become dark around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. If only you would slay the wicked O God! Away from me, you blood-thirsty men! They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord, and abhor those who rise up against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

This Psalm tells us just how well God knows us, knows our thoughts, our words, our ways, He created us and has ordained the number of our days and they are written in His book, He is everpresent and everlasting. Yes, He does see us when we’re sleeping, when we are awake and He knows if we’ve been bad or good but I think that is where the similarities between Santa and God end.

God is omniscient and omnipresent. He is all knowing and present in all places at all times. Nothing can be hidden from God…so why do we try, or why do we act like we are getting away with something? I would think that if “knowing” that Santa is checking to see if kids are good or bad influences their behavior, does knowing that God knows all and is ever-present influence our behavior? Just something to think about.

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Posted by on November 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

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Wear A Poppy

 

Please Wear a Poppy

“Please wear a Poppy”, the lady said 
And held one forth, but I shook my head. 
Then I stopped to watched to see how she would fare – 
Her face was old and lined with care, 
But beneath the scars that the years had made 
There remained a smile that refused to fade.

A boy came whistling down the street, 
Bouncing along on carefree feet. 
His smile was full of joy and fun, 
“Lady”, he said, “may I have one?” 
As she pinned it on I heard him say 
“Why do we wear a Poppy today?”

The lady smiled in her wistful way 
And answered, ” This is Remembrance Day. 
The Poppy there is a symbol for 
The gallant men who died in war, 
And because they did, you and I are free. 
That’s why we wear a Poppy, you see!”

“I had a boy about your size, 
With golden hair and big blue eyes. 
He loved to play, and jump and shout – 
Free as a bird he would race about. 
As years went on he learned and grew 
And became a man as you will too”.

“He was fine and strong with a boyish smile, 
But he seemed with us just a little while. 
When war broke out he went away – 
I still remember his face that day, 
When he smiled at me and said, “Goodbye – 
I’ll be back soon, so please don’t cry”.

“But the war went on and he had to stay – 
All I could do was wait and pray. 
His letters told of the awful fight – 
I can still see it in my dreams at night. 
With tanks and guns and cruel barbed wire, 
And mines and bullets, the bombs and fire”.

“Until at last the war was won, 
And that’s why we wear a Poppy, son”. 
The small boy turned as if to go 
Then said, “Thanks lady, I’m glad to know. 
That sure did sound like an awful fight, 
But your son – did he come home all right?” 
A tear rolled down each faded cheek – 
She shook her head but didn’t speak. 
I slunk away – head bowed in shame 
And if you were with me, you’d have done the same. 
For our thanks in giving is oft delayed, 
Though our freedom was bought and thousands paid.

And so you see – when a Poppy is worn, 
Let us reflect on the burden borne 
By all those who gave their very all 
When asked to answer their Country’s call. 
That we at home in peace may live – 
Then wear a Poppy – remember – and give!

By: Unknown Poet

SO29POPPY

It is a simple decision to make. Remember and give. It is disturbing to note that if you google “selling poppies” you will get numerous returns about citizens being kicked out of establishments for selling poppies. Not only in Canada but in England as well. One headline said: “Blind WW2 Veteran Mugged While Selling Poppies.” These people who are collecting for a veterans fund are being mugged and kicked to the curb! That is just wrong. In Toronto, “Poppy Selling Vet Bounced” — Toronto Sun. this man was 85 and had joined Britian’s Royal Navy when he was 16. “They have some nerve resenting me standing on their property and telling me to get off. I couldn’t believe anyone could be so obnoxious.

“We made it possible for him (the security guard) to have a job. He wouldn’t have it if Hitler had won.” 

 Another report told of Air Cadets being kicked out of a mall in Regina for selling poppies.

“86 year old veteran, Lionel” (the blind man mentioned above) “is a gentleman through and through. He was not angry, but felt only pity for the robber. He said, 

” I don’t feel angry. I feel sorry for them because they’ve obviously got something missing. “The British Legion asked me ‘Are you sure you want to carry on collecting?’ But I’ve got will power. I wanted to do it. The money is urgently needed. I remember the teenage soldiers who gave their lives, the people who came back with no legs, no arms, no eyes. I wish I could do more collections.”

Bless that old man, what a wonderful attitude to have, how gracious of him. 

“There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.” — Josh Billings (1818-1815)

 

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2008 in Inspiration, Uncategorized

 

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President Elect…

Barack Hussein Obama II 

born August 4, 1961

obama20smile The brand new President Elect of the United States of America! That is something that I think deserves some special attention…the first African American President and he is only 47 years old! I am not an American, I don’t know much about politics, but I know what a big deal this is. This is a smart man, he is well educated. A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School he was a civil rights attorney and served three terms in the Illinois Senate. He is married and has two beautiful daughters, Malia Ann, 10 and Natasha (Sasha), 7.

This is definitely a big moment in American history. Only 2 years after Obama was born, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. That dream has in part been realized 45 years later!

         mlkihaveadreamgogoMartin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, 4 months before Obama’s 7th birthday.

“I Have A Dream” — Martin Luther King Jr (August 28, 1963)

(Portions of the great speech below)

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity. 

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

(for the full speech text click here)

 

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

 

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by a sign stating: “For Whites Only.” We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

 

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

 

And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.


On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves are, and henceforward shall be free.” One hundred years later, there was still tremendous racism and segragation in the nation. Fourty five years later, The United States of America have elected an African American man to be their President, their Commander in Chief. It is an historical moment. It may very well be a defining moment in this era for the U.S.A. 

I pray for that nation, for our neighbors to the south, one of the most powerful nations in the world. I pray for the Obama family, especially for their safety as there may be many citizens who are not happy about the outcome of this election. Obviously the U.S.A. has come along way in the last 145 years, but there are still those who have not come that far and will still judge a man on the colour of his skin and not on his character. I  will pray for those as well, for enlightenment, that they will see the man and not his skin tone. And I pray that “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

November 6/08 I just wanted to add one more thing…

I would direct you to a post by Beth Moore in regards to the President-elect. She has, as usual, articulated the feelings of many Christians about the election results. I am always amazed at how clearly she speaks the vision given her by God. She emphasizes the importance of unity and prayer.

“Please also join me in the active and deliberate pursuit of unity and purity in the Body of Christ at this historical time in our country. I implore you in Jesus’ Name to have zero tolerance for prejudice whether it is regarding party-affiliation, color (whether you are Black, White, or Brown), economics or the like. Disagreement is not sin. Prejudice is. Satan has plotted events and planted attitudes that, should he be successful, will result in havoc. We must not stand for his schemes or cooperate in a single way…..”

“Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” (Matt. 12:25)

 


 
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Posted by on November 5, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

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Somebody’s Mother

 

Somebody’s Mother
The woman was old, and ragged, and gray,
And bent with the chill of the winter’s day;

The street was wet with a recent snow,
And the woman’s feet were aged and slow.

She stood at the crossing, and waited long,
Alone, uncared for, amid the throng

Of human beings who passed her by,
Nor heeded the glance of her anxious eye.

Down the street, with laughter and shout,
Glad in the freedom of “school let out,”

Came the boys, like a flock of sheep,
Hailing the snow, piled white and deep.

Past the woman so old and gray
Hastened the children on their way;

Nor offered a helping hand to her,
So meek, so timid, afraid to stir,

Lest the carriage wheels or the horses feet
Should knock her down in the slippery street.

At last came one of the merry troop–
The gayest laddie of all the group;

He paused beside her and whispered low:
“I’ll help you across if you wish to go.”

Her aged hand on his strong young arm
She placed, and so, without hurt or harm,

He guided the trembling feet along,
Proud that his own were firm and strong.

Then back to his friends again he went,
His young heart happy and well content.

“She’s somebody’s mother, boys, you know,
For all she’s aged, and poor and slow;

“And I hope some fellow will lend a hand
To help my mother, you understand,

“If ever she’s poor, and old, and gray,
When her own dear boy is far away.”

And “somebody’s mother” bowed low her head
In her home that night, and the prayer she said

Was, “God be kind to the noble boy,
Who is somebody’s son, and pride, and joy.”

Unknown – Taken from “The Ontario Readers Second Book”

I remember my Grandmother reading this poem to me. She had an old black binder with poems she had written out over the years, a few were her own but mostly they were ones that she had read or memorized and wanted to keep for future use. In 1979 the Minister of Education for Ontario authorized a reprinting of the Ontario Readers Second Book. My Grandma was excited to get this new copy of the old book so she could go back and reread all of the stories and poems. When she was in the one-room school house the original wasn’t even published yet! She must have had a similar reader. Anyway, inside the flap of the “new” copy it says: “This book is an exact facsimile of the second book which was authorized for use in Ontario schools from 1923 to 1937.” Below that statement it says: “Price 9 Cents” The price printed on this book does not represent the total cost, as an additional sum is paid to the publisher by the Department of Education.”
Something that I find particularly interesting is that in this “reader” there are Bible stories. Something that would be unheard of in a school book today! Maybe the country that we live in would be in better shape if we had kept the influence of the Bible in schools?! Now, parents have to spend big bucks to send their children to private, Christian schools in order to have a Biblical influence in the classroom.  It is becoming more and more difficult to express Chrisitanity anywhere, not just in schools. That is a whole other topic! 
This story of the old woman and young boy is touching and reminds me of the story of the Good Samaritan.
The man was robbed and beaten and left for dead on the side of the road. A priest walked by and went to the other side of the road. A Levite came along and he too walked to the other side of the road. A Samaritan came by and took compassion on the man when he saw him. He bound up his wounds, put him on his own donkey and brought him to an inn and took care of him. When went to leave, he gave the owner money to make sure that he was taken care of and promised to cover the expenses. The question is asked, “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?” Luke 10: 30-36
The young man took note of the old woman and her situation and took time out of his fun to help her. I have to wonder how many young people today would do the same?
 
 
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Posted by on November 3, 2008 in Inspiration, Uncategorized

 

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November 2, 2008

November 11th is Remembrance Day. Today as I left Shopper’s Drug Mart, I was approached by an Air Cadet and asked to buy a Poppy. I glady opened my purse and gave him a toonie and went on my way with the new Poppy.

I got thinking about it and I know that Remembrance Day is to remember those who gave their lives in service to our country, and I thought about the poppy and the poem “In Flanders Fields” and I realized that I don’t really know that much about Remembrance Day.

Google, as usual, was very helpful in providing me with the information that I needed to understand more about the sacrifices that have been made by citizens of this country, Canada.

From the Royal Canadian Legion website: “Each November, Poppies blossom on the lapels and collars of almost half of Canada’s entire population. Since 1921, the Poppy has stood as Remembrance, our visual pledge to never forget all those Canadian who have fallen in war and military operations.”

In WWI, 628,736 Canadian troops participated, 66,573 died while 138,166 were wounded and 2818 were prisoners of war. In 1914, Canada’s population was seven and half million people. The militia numbered some 57,000. Within 3 weeks of the outbreak of WWI, 45,000 citizens had volunteered for military service. On October 3, 1914 the first 30,000 Canadian troops set sail aboard 33 ships from Gaspe Bay for England. The “Great War” lasted until the end of 1918.

WWII During 1939-45 hundreds of thousands of Canadians – more than 40% of the male population between the ages of 18 and 45, and virtually all of them volunteers – enlisted. 1,081,865 Canadians in Service, 46,777 Dead, 53,145 Wounded, 8,271 POW’s, 108,193 Total Casualties. Aboriginal Canadians: At least 3,000 status (treaty) Indians – including 72 women – enlisted, as well as an unknown number of Inuit, Metis, and other Natives. The actual numbers were no doubt much higher. Among this small number of identified Aboriginal members of the forces, at least 17 decorations for bravery in action were earned.

Canada has also particiapated in various capacities in the Korean War, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and in peace keeping missions throughout the world, including Bosnia, and Haiti as well as the current efforts of Canadian military in Afghanistan. Since 2002 there have been 97 Canadian Casualties.

When reading about the “casualties” the numbers are overwhelming but I reminded myself that each of those numbers represents a life. Somebody’s son, husband, brother, daughter, wife, sister…father or mother. That is what Remembrance Day is for! It is to honour each of those “numbers,” the individuals who said good-bye to their loved ones and bravely boarded a ship or plane not knowing when or if they would see each other again.

The poem, In Flanders Fields, was written by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae in Ypres. He expressed in his words of poetry, the fear of many soldiers…to die in battle and be forgotten. Lt.Col. John McCrae died of pneumonia at Wimereux near Boulogne, France on January 28, 1918 at the age of 45.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

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