Tag Archives: blessing

A time of blessing

Before I became a Salvation Army Officer I was going to be a professional photographer. So in some regard, I should be embarrassed by the quality of this shot! So many things wrong with it, from focus to composure to balance…. oh my. But here it is.

I include it because in my last post I said I would tell some of the wonderful stories of ministry.  And quite honestly there are more of these moments and the tough ones. The difference is, the comments intending to hurt seem to be like velcro! They stick so much better than the positive comments.

This was from our first aboriginal round table which we did at The Salvation Army’s camp in northern BC. It was a wonderful combination of cultures and a great reminder to me, and to the those in attendance, that while the indigenous community might be different, it is by no means inferior – and in fact I suspect in many ways it is superior.

Those of us who come from the history of conquering and colonizing need to get to a point of confession, that while we might personally have hurt or stolen land, we are the heirs to this type of behaviour. We possess that which was given wrongly. Time and economics might not be able to restore all, but our confession to this and our admission of that history are important.

This photo, therefore, represents one of those “best moments” of ministry as we found ourselves in partnership with some truly remarkable people. I will look back upon this poorly taken picture with a heart of gratitude for this ministry opportunity.

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Year in review – 2013

A recent conversation on hangout

It was an early morning while the house was dark and quiet and I was working at getting some bacon in the frying pan, kettle boiled for tea (for Wendy and Susan), coffee maker underway (for Jason and I) and 2013 was just underway.  I couldn’t help but reflect upon the brief nature of 2012. A year later as 2013 rolls to an end I want to stop and reflect on another year that seems to have zoomed past us.

The early months were busy ones sharing our home with Jason, Susan and Rachel.  They were harboured here while they sorted out where there journey was taking them.  We, the grandparents, collected rent in the form of family dinners and time with Rachel.  I think we got the better of the deal but that’s through my lens.

Eventually they settled on moving to St. John’s NL so that Jason could pursue a BSW through MUN.  And as the first semester is now history we can report a very successful academic start for Jason.  Susan has pursued teaching music and as music is her great love they have both moved on to things that hold great interest.  However I cannot deal with their current circumstances without mentioning that Susan is expecting twins…in April…but we think we can expect their arrival some time in March.  A boy and girl will soon be added to our list of grandchildren!

Imagine if one day they track down this blog post and read about themselves – I would want them to know we are already praying for them.

Amanda and Phil

Speaking of grandchildren February brought the arrival of Carlyle May Waters to the home and lives of Phil and Amanda.  She’s a bright, energetic little girl with fine features and a desire to be on the ggggooooooooo!  What joy to hold a baby – a grandbaby!

We were able to return to Alberta in September for a week and Phil had us out on the trail cooking lunch for us over an open fire.  Amanda is in great shape too – so they are a real active family….wait a moment didn’t I say Carlyle was always on the go?  So now I really do see where she gets it from – from both of them.  We loved our time there and cherished every moment.  Phil has returned to school in his continuing pursuit of EMS credentials – and we are amazed at our boy who hated school at how he is excelling in this important work.  Amanda – sweet Amanda Jean – is coming to the conclusion of her own school and is almost done her Masters of Psychology.  She’s so smart.

Out at the trailer

The summer gave us time to be at the trailer and of course we love being out there.  We’ve now had our trailer for 8 years and we still enjoy being RV’rs.

In 2013 I completed the Arrow Leadership –  Executive Stream graduating at our residential gathering in Atlanta Georgia.  That was a great experience and has given me connections with other men and women of similar age and experience in many different organizations. They challenged us to be led more by Jesus, lead more like Jesus and to lead more to Jesus.

In August Wendy and I were able to travel to Chicago to attend Willow Creek’s Leadership Summit. The speakers and resources were very effective and helpful.  It allowed us to have further development of our own thinking and to enjoy the highlights of this very successful ministry. We were struck by how much of what they do is what TSA has been doing for 100 years.  So interesting.

The autumn allowed us to resettle as empty nesters.  What room should we put the hot tub in?  We moved the trailer to Jackson’s Point and we’re anxiously awaiting summer 2014 to take advantage of the nearby lake!

As 2013 ends and we reflect upon the goodness of God in our lives there are some experiences and lessons that we have feel drawn to acknowledge.

First and foremost was the opportunity to have a year with Jason, Susan and Rachel.  The joy of being together and especially seeing the daily development of Rachel has left us with more memories than I can recount here.  Many of them are captured on our You Tube channel. Secondly related to that is the complete joy we have being grandparents.  Whether it’s Rachel, Carlyle or the coming babies seeing the next generation coming along is thrilling.

Lastly we are continually amazed at how blessed we are in this life – to have our health, our family and work that is filled with purpose and joy reminds us over and over at how God’s hand has guided us in both small and large ways.

So we wish you a merry Christmas and the joy of knowing God’s blessing on your lives.