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.
I am not meaning to sound heretical at all, but having just returned from Alberta and the beauty of God’s creation it is easy to think that if God was choosing somewhere to dwell it might be right here. The Psalmist often talked about lifting this eyes to “the hills” and in viewing the spectacular features of the geography was reminded that his help came from the Maker of Heaven and earth. Mountains have that kind of impact upon people, especially when the birds call out, the stream flows by peacefully and the stillness of the moment is not interrupted, as most of our moments seem to be now, by the roar of industrial life.
In case I have not been entirely clear, I do not believe for a moment that God lives in a geographical location – far from it. The truth today for anyone who is willing is for God to reside in our “hearts” – that is the center of our being. God’s greatest creation is, of course, you – me – the man or woman made in His image.
Lots of running around to do this week it seems. Gift buying to complete, get the house ready for guests, make sure that the food that needs to be bought is in…well you get it.Of course, for some the hectic pace of Christmas is in the past – their lives simple, sometimes lonely, sometimes they aren’t even aware it is Christmas or what that means. Seems we know more people than ever struggling with diseases of the mind that keep them locked in their own thoughts. For relatives, it is difficult to watch, for those that suffer, well we aren’t really sure I guess. I can only imagine – or can I.
Might be us one day. That’s the reality – it’s also a scary thought. I guess I deal with the future by believing that the future has been dealt with by the past – that Christmas was about making provision for me, and you, to know that our lives are part of the plan of God, who chose (before the world was formed) to intervene in history so that my future could be provided for. In Jesus, we find salvation, not just the forgiveness of sin but salvation from aging, illness, death…that’s the promise!
I am not certain whose image this is. I found it some time ago…but I like the image because I see a young couple – so very young – an obedient young couple who are trusting God for the future though it appears that they are under the direction of Casear, yet they are really simply obeying the word of God as Mary carries the Word Of God. Obedience is the surest way of finding joy now and in the future.