Category Archives: thoughts

A week of funerals

05-22-2008-13-47-31-753@a6c49f3a79a743fd853d85d7cec0fdacThis past week we attended the funeral of Aunt Dorothy. She isn’t really my aunt, not a sister to any relative, but has been my Mom’s best friend for over 60 years so she’s been like an aunt.

Pictured here is Uncle Ted and my Dad in a picture from…well the 1950’s! They were stationed together in Winnipeg after Training College and got along so well they were friends until Uncle Ted passed away, just a year before my Dad did. Our paths crossed with the Browns in many ways over the years and strangely enough both of their daughters have worked for me. Their son Ted has been a life long friend though we see little of each other these days.

Attending funerals is an interesting activity. I find myself joyful to see friends and family who we rarely see and reminded of why we are together. Of course, the Christian also rejoices if their friends have been people of faith and we know “they are safe in the arms of Jesus”. That saying seemed so corny to me as a kid, but with age comes the recognition of truth and that is one that really resonates.  The other aspect of funeral attendance is listening to people talk about who has died – in this case, listening to family and friends talk about the impact Aunt Dorothy has had on them.

I think many of us are sitting there asking ourselves, if this was my funeral, what would people say? It’s a time, to be honest with self and before God. Without a doubt living brings about some regret, some reason for rejoicing and some sense of question – how did I do?  That’s why the Scripture is so reassuring with the promise of forgiveness, and eternal welcome – “Well done, good and faithful servant”.

So if I seem more retrospect these days I may be thinking about my own life. What about you?

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Advice for young men!

Jordan B Peterson – say his name and you will get a reaction.  Some love him, some despise him.  I have my own opinion and I certainly don’t agree with everything he says but I really like this video and sense both from my experience in the leadership of a congregation, my work with people in general and in some of the reading I’ve done over time that there is real truth here.  Young men need purpose and it is not found in chasing personal privilege and rights – it is found in carrying responsibilities in a sensible and serious manner.

So here it is….tell what you think.

 

The CSS in Calgary

Wendy took the Canadian Staff Songsters to Glenmore Temple in Calgary, AB for the Stampede weekend.  It was great to be “home” for a few days and to see good friends, be part of a revisit to a place that has such deep personal meaning for us and to share in the music of this great group. The city of Calgary, if you do not know, is alive in a different way for 10 days as it hosts “the greatest outdoor show on earth”.

So here are two videos to show something of that weekend – a couple more will follow – as it allows you to see and sense something of the nature of the weekend and the flavour of the city!

 

The chuckwagon races are a great event and I love watching them. The very first funeral that I did after we arrived in Calgary, in 2000 was a woman who had raised 5 kids – 4 of whom had been born and raised in a sod house on the Alberta Saskatchewan border! Think about what it means to grow your own food, live through a winter on the Prairies and to do so in a sod house! That’s a pioneer and the chuck wagons point back to that time in history which is not that far in the past!

This second video is from Sunday morning at Glenmore Temple, the final number by the CSS and while it both these videos are done on my Samsung phone – provide I think a reasonable representation of the quality of the music.