Last Sunday was our monthly meeting at the Grace Christian Home. It was a particularly special meeting as we were joined by a new young face. David and Erica brought Elizabeth to meet the residents! Everyone was thrilled to see a sweet baby!
What a privilege it is to live in a family where Christ is the centre of the home! My thoughts today turn especially to the men in my life whose character radiates as a testimony of Christ in a fallen world! I am so blessed by my father and five brothers…
David’s unobtrussive helpfulness, patience and humility as a real estate broker once gained him the comment, “Either you won’t succeed in real estate, or you’ll change the way it is done!” Character has a unique way of changing things.
Gentlemanliness is growing in William’s life with every passing day. He understands what it is to reach out gently to those weaker than himself and is quick to admit his mistakes.
Nathanael has been reputed for saying, when having someone comment on how quickly and efficiently he works, “I need to work quickly: I’m paid by the hour.” What a valuable employee who wastes neither his own, nor his employers assets!
I hear comments all the time about Daddy. His reputation for taking time with those who need him springs up around every corner. He makes people understand that they are not wasting his time by being quick to welcome interruptions.
Stephen is our handyman at any given moment. His availability almost can’t be beaten and when it comes to creativity, he is certainly a master at thinking outside of the box!
Though Jonathan is one of those behind-the-scenes people, it became very evident recently that his character had none the less been observed. When the company for which he worked went bankrupt (no fault of his!), he found himself caught up immediately between two other companies as they bargained over who would get him! There was no need to go “job hunting” – his steady, cheerful diligence, his quiet friendliness and his willingness to take the jobs no one else wanted could not go by unnoticed – he is in high demand.
Thank you, Daddy and guys, for being what I scarcely see anywhere else: men of character. I admire you, and thank God for you.
“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” Proverbs 22:29
Since there have been no posts about anything else since the wedding, I think it high time to catch up! Not having a lot of time on my hands, I’ll simple blitz through the highlights and allow the pictures to tell the stories.
In September, Daddy and Mommy made a trip to the White Mountains. What a beautiful creation God made!
Toward the end of the month, we took a family trip up Mount Megantic. Many have told us of the beauty of this mountain, but we had never been there ourselves. The descriptions given us were not exaggerated. We even had opportunity to tour the observatory at the top of the mountain. The telescope is enormous!
September closed with some of us helping to change the roof at the GCH. We were privileged to work with 89-year-old twin brothers as well as several other wonderful volunteers. Not only was it a good time of working together, but it was also a time of Christian fellowship on the roof.
October was a busy month as we planned and prepared for a 25th anniversary party for some friends. We were responsible for catering the meal, and as always when we get in the kitchen together, we thoroughly enjoyed it.
In view of potentially keeping a future calf, Evelyn and I have been learning to train the two calves we currently have. This process has been interesting at times, since neither of us have ever seen anyone train oxen, but slowly we are making progress – to the point of hitching them up and offering slightly unpredictable rides!
During the past couple of years, we have had minor water shortages. This past summer it became evident that something had to be done. So recently, Daddy called in a well digging team to deepen our well. It was quite a noisy process and turned out to be much longer than we expected. We were without water for three days. When we were finally told that we had water for toilets, we made the mistake of turning on the system too soon and ended up with fine gravel in all our pipes. Taking apart the toilets and faucets to remove the rocks was very educational! At this point, we have water for toilets, washing, and bathing, but we still have no drinking water. We are praying that will come soon!
And now that it is December, our thoughts are turning toward Christmas activities such as chalk art. And of course there is gingerbread house decorating. But that warrants a post of its own…
So much has occurred in the past months, that even though Jonathan had our website up and running again by early January, no one has had the time to write any posts. Some of what has taken place since the last real post that to give a full update would take far more time than I have. Instead, I’ll attempt to give an overview of the fall and winter months, touching on a few highlights.
Fall activities included leaf raking, tree chopping, garden harvesting, and visits from local turkeys!
Winter fun has included skating, skiing, and having fun in the snow with friends.
During this time frame, we had opportunity to attend a couple conferences in New Hampshire – the Family Encouragement Weekend in September and the Gospel Family Forum in February.
Not only have we gone out of our home to fellowship with other like-minded families, but we have also had many opportunities for inviting others into our home. We continue monthly men’s meetings, usually preceded by a dinner for all the families. And of course we have welcomed other groups of people, such as the Sherbrooke Gideons, as well as individual families. Such times of fellowship are always a blessing!
The winter season wouldn’t be complete without Christmas concerts and chalk art presentations…
… and a visit with our precious grandparents!
Though not foremost in our priorities right at the moment, some work has been done on the apartment in the basement. The tiles are now laid and grouted. The hardwood floor is in – both the living room and bedroom. The kitchen cabinets are underway as are the mouldings, window frames, etc. Now thought is turning toward the bathroom. Another project on the side was also accomplished: the changing of some well-worn run on our much-used staircase!
February 13th was marked an important event. David may want to say more, but for the moment, I’ll just let the picture tell the story…
This has taken our thoughts toward a future date – the results in the kitchen reflecting that rather clearly!
Sewing has also commenced. We girls had a great time together cutting out and sewing the bridesmaids dresses, creating memories of special times that will not be forgotten.
Well, that is a quick summary of some highlights from the past few months. Of course there are a few other random things that have been done such as butchering the last couple turkeys (and learning to do sutures on one of them!), preparing for the next batch of meat birds, various culinary experiments unrelated to the upcoming wedding, the more recent undertaking of clearing out a place for a new septic system, and so much more.
We’ll try to keep you posted!
I have not much time for writing, but since the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” I’ll put on a few thousand. When I came up with the idea, I wondered whether it was too crazy even to suggest, yet less than two weeks after my initial conjuring it up, here we were carrying out my plan (with a few ingenious additions by Mommy!). The following are some pictures of what we were doing this afternoon…
We were excited to be able to share with the residents of the Grace Christian Home some of what the Lord has given us. It was obviously a very enjoyable time for everyone and brought so many smiles! Many told us that it brought back memories from their childhood.
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…” Ecclesiastes 9:10
We have a tradition at our home of making gingerbread houses around Christmas time. We mass-produce the main shapes so that all that has to be done is the decorating part.
Everyone likes to decorate their houses in their own way – some put on lots of candy, while others would rather put on less; some like to make their houses fancy, while other prefer to keep their houses simple. There seem to be two antithetical philosophies in decorating these houses: the goal is either aesthetic or palatableness. Well, there are some in-between houses, too.
Elizabeth made this neat-looking gingerbread house.
Another tradition we have at our home is the making and distributing of cookie plates. The recipients of these plates vary from year to year, but generally include friends, pastors, widows, people in need in various ways, and people or organizations that are helpful to the community.
This year we brought cookie plates and thank-you notes to the fire stations, the ambulance station, and the police stations. The ambulance station was closed (because it was Christmas eve), but we happened to catch an ambulance pulling out, about to start their shift. The police seemed the most surprised of them all. I suppose most people don’t think to thank the police.
I Peter 2:13-14 “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.”
This past week we have had the opportunity of ministering through music and chalk talks in a few different places. On Tuesday the 6th, we were at Grace Christian Home for a chalk talk. The unsaved residents need to hear the Gospel message preached and those who know the Lord appreciate hearing it again. So, the staff of the home decided to schedule the chalk talk during the normal supper time, when almost everyone would be able to be there. This chalk talk is called “The Shepherds’ Story.”
This past weekend we had more of an adventure. I would like to thank all those who were praying for us on this trip – we really needed it! We were scheduled to go to Beachburg, ON, for two events: one Saturday evening in a retirement home and the other Sunday afternoon at the local community centre. However by the time we got to Montreal, our trailer was making funny sounds. We investigated the problem and found that the axle had somehow slid forward a few inches and was now eating the wheel well. We didn’t have any tools to fix the problem, and weren’t sure whether we could fix the problem even if we did have the tools.
We finally decided we had better locate a u-haul dealer. Thanks to some mobile technology, we found that there was one only a few minutes out of our way. We were very grateful that we didn’t have to go far to find one. When we got there we found that they had exacty two trailers, only one of which was large enough. We had lost some time already by starting on our way a little later than expected and trying to fix our trailer without tools and having to drive smoothly (those who know Montreal roads know that is not easy…) So, we unloaded quickly and loaded it all into the rented u-haul.
After this adventure, we were running rather later than we had hoped, knowing that retirement home residents do not normally arrive late for special events. Amazingly we arrived in plenty of time to set up. Praise the Lord! Very few of the residents were Christians, as far as I know, so I am glad that every chalk talk we do is carefully planned to contain a clear salvation message. Hopefully, some will be receptive to the message that God has for them and respond accordingly.
After this presentation, we went to the community centre to set up for the next day. We were quite surprised to see this glowing sign (thank you Matthew!):
There were a lot more people than I had expected to come who once again heard the good news of Jesus Christ clearly presented. May the seed that was planted in their hearts that day sprout up and bring forth fruit.
We did have time in between to fellowship with our host family. Thank you for your warm hospitality! Oh, and since the chalk talk we were doing was “The Shepherds’ Story”, I thought it might be appropriate to add a picture of one of their sheep.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” – Isaiah 53:6-7
Yesterday afternoon we had the opportunity of visiting the Wales Home for a time of music and a chalk talk. The residents apparently enjoyed it very much, and I rejoice that so many heard the gospel preached clearly.
I would like to thank those who are so faithful in praying for us as we minister through music and chalk talks. The Devil does not want people to hear the truth of God’s Word and will make every effort to twart reception of the Gospel by the hearts of those that hear. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17.
We have a few more events coming up, so don’t forget to check our events page. Please pray that the Lord would grant that we speak and share only what He wants us to speak and share, as it says in Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
This on is an adaptation of Matthew Bowman’s “Born to Die.” Although evangelicals rarely forget that Christmas is about Christ’s birth, we often forget at Christmas time why Jesus was born. It was fortold by the prophets and declared by Jesus before He died, but not even his disciples really understood it until Jesus himself explained it to the men on the road to Emmaus. Jesus Christ was born to die.
I would like to thank everyone who prayed for us as we travelled to Newport Center, VT, to play music in a small church yesterday. We figured the border crossing would probably be difficult, seeing it was the 10th anniversary of the attacks on September 11th. But then, just a day or two before we were to leave, we realized that one of our passports was in Ottawa being renewed. It was not expired, but we didn’t have it with us, and a passport is required to go through the border. So, we contacted the pastor and informed him of the situation and said that we weren’t sure we would be able to be there at all. He simply replied that if God wanted us there, we would get there, and if not this time, we could re-schedule.
So, we contacted the One in charge of the border crossing and asked Him to let us through. We left early Sunday morning, and got through the border with somewhat less difficulty than usual! And, yes, the music went well, too!
En route there was a lot of really pretty scenery. It is very reminiscent of the scenery in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. I guess that’s because the scenery was made before the Canada-US border. To get to Newport Center, we had to go through Newport, which is at the south end of Lake Memphremagog.
Nestled among the Appalachian Mountains and lakes of northern Vermont, Newport previously had a very present French population due to its easy access to Quebec via the lake, and with that, much Roman Catholic influence.
Proverbs 21:1 “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.”
On the 10th of July, we went to Beebe to play some music at the Advent Christian Camp.
Ever since we heard that we were going to Beebe, several of us began looking forward to helping wash the dishes. They have a really good set up for hand washing dishes in that kitchen.
After washing dishes, everyone headed outside. It was a beautiful day, and we stayed there most of the afternoon fellowshipping and playing box hockey.
The chapel’s structure is completely open truss, affording a wonderful place to play violin for people who don’t mind being high in the air. We thought we might call him the “fiddler in the roof”. The sign below should probably read something like, “TAKE HEED HOW YE PLAY”. Or perhaps 1 Corinthians 10:12 – “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”