Monthly Archives: July 2010


  Work on our extension is progressing.  We now have balconies on the north and south sides and energies have now been turned towards finishing the inside of the extension.  The next step is putting on window frames, mouldings around the windows and doors, and all the wainscot.  As you can see from this photo, there is a lot of wood to be stained and then varnished!   But with teamwork, considerable progress has been made in staining the wood.  Hopefully by next week we will be ready to start putting up some of the wood! 


Teamwork staining wood Hard at work


Watermelon Sunday

About one Sunday per month, our family, along with another family or two, goes down to Grace Christian Home for an afternoon of edification and exhortation for the residents of the home.  It is always encouraging to serve people whom you know will appreciate what you bring them.  We are also grateful to the senior Godfreys, who organize everything, and for their encouragement to keep working for the Lord by ministering to these people.

Last Sunday, we decided to do something slightly different.  Rather than a normal type of message, we did a sort of play, which we hoped would help people remember the message a little better.  It was based on the IBLP Children’s Institute watermelon story, with a slightly different twist to it.

In our story, we wanted to eat watermelon because it was so hot.  But every time I was about to cut it open, someone would stop me and suggest that we test it in some way or other.  It was incredible how many people wanted to test the watermelon before opening it.  It was tested for smell, for how it felt, for stem strength, and stripiness; it was inspected for bad spots, shaken, and knocked on.

STOP!  Before we cut it, we need to do another test...

When we had finally done all these tests (surely we didn’t need to do that many) and deemed that it should be a good watermelon, I sliced it open.  Unfortunately it was not edible on the inside.

Not very good, as watermelons go.

But, although the watermelon was not good to eat, we did get some good spiritual lessons out of this watermelon.  Just like the dirt in the watermelon totally ruined it, so sin in our lives totally ruins us.  It doesn’t take much sin – even one sin makes us a sinner and every one of us has sinned.  God’s Word says that the wages of sin is death, so we all deserve to die.

Also, we can’t make this watermelon better.  We need a new watermelon.  In the same way, we can’t “make our sin better.”  We need a totally new life; we need to be a new creation.   “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (Romans 6:23)  The Bible says in II Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  Jesus is God’s own Son and never committed any sin.  But He died on the cross in our place, the Righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us to God.  We can have new, eternal life through Him.

There is one more thing we need to notice, too.  Sometimes sin is obvious, just as a watermelon can be obviously bad.  But this watermelon seemed good on the outside.  It can be the same way with people: on the outside they may be doing all kinds of “good” things, but the inside has not been made new.  In I Samuel 16:7, the Bible says, “The LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”  In order to be righteous before God, we need to be clean on the inside, not just look good on the outside.  If you have not asked God to make you a new creation by what Jesus did on the cross for you, I urge you to ask Christ to forgive your sins and give you a new life.

I didn’t know I was that crazy

I suspect that none of those reading this blog post have ever mowed their lawn with a 10 inch carbide-tipped radial saw blade.  Well, I did.  Sort of…

Our lawn mower is a very faithful gasoline push-mower close to 20 years old and has needed very few repairs.  This summer, however, I noticed that a couple of the wheels were starting to get loose.  I figured they would need changing some time or other.  I didn’t think, however, when I went out to mow the lawn last time, that it would break quite yet.  Well, the weather forecast was for a chance of thunderstorms starting early in the afternoon.  It generally takes about 1 ½ to 2 hours to mow our lawn, so when I started around 10:00/10:30, I thought I was leaving just about enough time before lunch.  You can probably guess what happened.

A 20 year old mower starts to need repairs

Yes, the wheel came right off after about 5 minutes of mowing.  To make a temporary fix, all I needed was a washer at least 2 inches wide with a ½ inch hole in the centre.  I don’t know about you, but we don’t stock that kind of thing in our workroom.  I did go to see what we did have in stock, however.  Nothing I found would do the job – except an old 10 inch carbide-tipped radial saw blade that had unintentionally been used to cut into a piece of metal.

An old radial saw blade A rather odd looking lawnmower wheel

By the way, I don’t recommend this method for several reasons.  First, it wouldn’t be good for your feet if you don’t have steel-shanked boots.  (I did.)  It also isn’t great for the lawn if you have a really nice lawn.  (We don’t.)  Finally, it takes about twice as much energy to push the mower when one of the wheels is going several inches into the ground. 

What can be learned from an experience such as this?  (Besides creativity… Smile
–    Don’t put things off until the last minute.  If I had started the lawn earlier (which I could have done), I would not have had so much time pressure on me to get everything done before the thunderstorm.
–    Learn to think ahead. – If I had thought ahead and bought a “spare tire” when I realized that I would need one, I would have been all ready when this happened.  I would have finished the lawn a decent amount sooner, too.
–    The value of mechanical skills. – Thanks to my father’s insisting that all of us learn to use a wrench (and even encouraging us to take apart old broken appliances), none of us would have any difficulty changing a wheel on a lawnmower.  Paying a mechanic to fix a lawnmower wheel just isn’t worthwhile.
–    Maybe you can think of more lessons that can be learned!

Learning from your mistakes is often the most effective way of learning, but it is normally the hardest way, too.  The worst of it is that sometimes we don’t learn.  Also, try writing out the lessons you learn from your mistakes.  This has often helped me see things from a new perspective, even if it doesn’t come out quite right on paper (or the screen).

Proverbs 24:16 “…a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again…”

Beebe Plain

Advent Christian Camp is a very small camp in Beebe Plain, Quebec.  It is the kind of place no one would hear about except by word of mouth.  When we first got an invitation to play music there as a part of the conclusion of the camp last year, we had never heard of it.  We did know several of the people there, however.  And, that is how we were invited to play.  That is how almost all our concerts are booked.

The people at the camp really seemed to appreciate the music we played.  It sometimes seems strange to think how some simple music, played by simple musicians, can be such a blessing to the hearers.  Any yet, this is the feedback we always receive.  Comments such as, “That was uplifting!” or, “It is a blessing to see you play together.” or, “It makes me think of Heaven.” are not uncommon.  Is this due to our ability or skill?  No.  Skilled musicians could be found in the concert halls of Montreal, but you aren’t likely to find us there.  I don’t fully know what causes people to make such comments, nor how we can be such an encouragement to so many people, but I know it is the Lord’s doing.  It may also have to do with the fact that in this world, families simply don’t go around together. 

Mrs. Vogrin once said, “[Basically] all you need to have a family ministry is to stand together as a family and smile.”  This is, from what we have seen, true.  But, why don’t you try it?  Actually, try just a little more than that.  Try just walking into a nursing home once a week, or even once a month, and talking with the residents.  You may be surprised to find that many people that can’t seem to remember anything suddenly have the ability to remember something. 

Like many buildings in the far south of Quebec, several of the cabins in Advent Christian Camp are quite old, but in good shape.  Several are over 100 years old, and are made with planks of wood of dimensions that would be extravagantly expensive or even simply not available.

Another interesting thing about this trip was the town itself.  It seems that when they built the town, they forgot that there was more than one country in North America.  The town is literally right on the border, with some houses seemingly in both countries.  The road we took home is partly in Canada and partly in the States.  The houses on the south side of the road are American houses, while those on the north are Canadian.  That makes one think… Does the U.S. Postal Service have to cross the border into Canada to deliver their mail to the American houses in the States?  It must be interesting to live in a place like that.

Zechariah 4:6-10 “This is the word of the LORD … Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. … For who hath despised the day of small things? … The eyes of the LORD … run to and fro through the whole earth.”