Wednesday, April 30, 2008

IRAN and I need to run

CNN is reporting the USA has sent a 2nd to the Persian Gulf as a signal to IRAN...okay, I'm no military genius but it seems to me that the last thing the USA can afford to do is get caught up in another military conflict which is a times referred to as war.

Today has been a great deal of sitting...third day too! For going crazy! If you don't suffer with this you won't understand, but it is like every muscle in your body is screaming: "MOVE" and the louder that sound is the harder it is to concentrate on what is going on in the room. I only left the room unscheduled three times today.

Tomorrow is the final day of MOBILIZE and the Chief is our guest.

So as we talk about Crisis Intervention let's hope our next site isn't IRAN.

Monday, April 28, 2008

What do we see in Jesus?

I've been doing some reading why people were inside Jesus' circle. I've come to conclude these things:
  • some thought they would benefit
    “Jesus replied, I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs.” - John 6:26
  • some thought they could contribute
    “Jesus brothers said to him, “leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles! You can’t become famous if you hide like this!” - John 7:3.4
  • some were committed to sacrafice

While none of those thoughts are stunning in their revelation, it does beg the question of our own view of Jesus? Are we guilty of poor motivation at times? Are we guilty of poor theology when approaching the name of Jesus?

Look at these words of Jesus and consider.
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” - John 8:31,32

MOBILIZE continues...Les and Rob and I took our lunch break to visit two trailer dealers. Seems that the hybrids are getting heavier. Why? Well the frames are considerably heavier, and of course many of them are loaded up with options. I am sure glad we have ours!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Help - FIRE!!

Warmth and sunshine...oh that feels good! Wendy, Jason and I took in the service at GT this morning. Weird sitting in the congregation but a good service and I did enjoy the illustration that Eddie used. He likened the church to a fire hall. Down the street is a house on fire and of the 10 firemen on duty, 5 are unwilling to leave their lunch to fight the fire. The other 5 head to the truck but end up arguing about who will drive to the fire. I hate to say it, but at times it is an accurate portrayal. Lord, forgive us.

So MOBILIZE is here after a year of planning. Good to see some friends from across the country. The gals from PR arrived to set up their store! They have some great items.

I can see 4 trailer dealers from our window on the 6th floor. I'll try to behave and attend the conference but I do hope to get a bit of time to run across the road.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


This day has been a wonderful day in so many ways. First of all it was sunny and above zero when we awoke. Ahhh....that felt so good. By the time we packed the van and got ourselves ready to go to Calgary snow was becoming water running towards the drains at the side of the road. When I was young my mother use to give to me the rhymn "April showers bring May flowers." I think I grew up with the idea then, that April was without snow and of course May was certainly about flowers.

Melting snow in April then seems to be more about February or March. Our temperatures are climbing for a few days. Funny how Canadians talk about weather so much.
Thus begins our week in Calgary. This is MOBILIZE - the EDS conference for Western Canada. There are folks coming from across the country. I'm learning about Critical Incident Management. Above is a ZOOM airliner landing with our guest on it from the UK. (Okay, so it might not actually be their plane) We are near the airport and the sky was busy this afternoon.
Tonight we had a wonderful meal and conversation with Dave and Sue. Friendship enriches life and developing new ties through our expanding family has enriched us. Thank you Dave and Sue for your friendship and your daughter! We love her deeply.

Friday, April 25, 2008

New van arrives!

Remember this... well today was pick up the van day. Actually it's been at the dealer for 2 weeks having been shipped by PHH on March 26th. The dealer didn't know who to call and didn't think to ask PHH for some information. A couple of emails tracked it down, and here we are. So if you voted for a colour - this is what we got! It could use some trim or something.

Today was the Annual Change for officers. Phone calls are made and new appointments posted...we'll be seeing quite a few changes in this division.

Tonight is supper with Phil and then back to DHQ for "Design for Life".

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A new Canadian phrase

If you are a lover of dictionaries, language and the history of words then you'll know that our word pneumonia or pneumatic comes from the greek word pneuma which means wind or spirit.

A second example is the word automobile, from the greek word auto meaning self and the french mobile "moving," meaning self moving.

But now I introduce to you a new phrase from the same origins of "double, double" meaning a coffee with two creams, and two sugars. Yesterday afternoon before beginning our corps review with Les and Tiffany, Les offered to get us a drink from the nearby Tim Hortons. I went with him (for security reasons) and he ordered our drinks followed by an order for a dutchie, dutchie! The gal behind the counter laughed and suggested he must want twice the raisins! Why of course.

So there you have it a new word(s) into the english language...a dutchie, dutchie.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Antique available for pick up

While watching the Calgary Flames find the end of their season at the hands of the Sharks, I put together our new desk for the basement. Ah yes, a new desk. On the required requisition I am to record the date of the previous purchase...I wasn't sure on the actual date, but I think I'm close. I recorded for the business department June 6, 1940.

It is available for pick up should you wish to aquire it...saving that it will likely find itself at the local thrift store.

So good-bye for another season Jarome and company. Now to turn our cheers towards the Montreal Canadiens! GO HABS GO!!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

A day of contrasts

Today has been a day of contrasts. To begin with it was Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Lunch with the Premier. The location, Sutton Place Hotel...nice, not quite posh but certainly very pleasing and the food was very good. We finished the day with Jason working in the EDS vehicle serving cheeseburgers to those on the street. It was interesting to hear him call them by name and to hear a bit of their stories.

The other contrast of course is our weather. After last weekend's 23+ degrees here we are in our third day of snow and cold. We've gone from green grass, lilies pushing through the warm soil, and buds breaking out on the branches to mid-January like conditions. I laughed at the IKEA sign and had to stop and take a picture!
You'll see by our pictures that Susan joined out as our luncheon in place of Roy who is unwell. It is always a delight to have her around. Les and Tiffany also joined us and we had a good laugh again today.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Yesterday was busy...I was at the men's breakfast (St. Albert) then Phil called so I worked with him to help build shelves in his garage. I learn from him everytime! He's got such a gift for teaching as well as woodworking! He would make a great teacher...and he's fun to be around.
In the evening we went with Les and Tiffany and Rob and Shelley to the Motoraunt. Did I spell that right? At 66th Street and 124th Avenue it isn't the best location but the food was great and we had a great laugh together.
This was an extension of a meeting which began around a campfire out camping a couple of years ago! It's a long story but you have to be sitting around a campfire with us to hear the whole thing. Oh and you've got to be towing too much with your vehicle to get it.
The snow continues to fall in Edmonton, and while we don't appear to be getting as much as Calgary or those near the moutains, it looks more like mid-January outside not mid-April.

Friday, April 18, 2008

They both have stripes

Wendy and I have been going through old photos. We have two different purposes. Wendy is making up some scrapbooks of different parts of our lives. They are looking great, though not being home slows down the progress.

I've been asked to compile a group of photos what will be combined into a presentation on the lives of Philip and Amanda for the wedding. I came across this one last night. We were living in Hamilton and wondering what to do about holidays. We were operating Camp Selkirk which meant being tied to our responsibilities from May to September. Thus summer holidays seemed quite impossible...or impractical. We did however hear that it was nice in Myrtle Beach - and since we had not been there before we took a chance, found a great spot and headed out.

It is 19 hours from Hamilton to Myrtle Beach and that first trip was a blast. We were on the beach before supper of our second day of driving and we enjoyed every moment of 7 days of swimming in the pool, playing on the white sand and eating out.

On our return we stopped at a most unusual tourist stop. If you've been done higway 95 you will be familar with South Of The Border. While the kids were looking around I realized that his shirt matched the small statue of the zebra so I asked him to give it a hug and snapped the picture.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Love is in the air!

Wendy and I received two special pieces of mail yesterday. The first was from Nathan and Ashley - an invitation to their wedding July 19th at Glenmore Temple. I'm participating so I guess we'll answer in the affirmative. We've known these two quite a while now and it is fun to watch them grow up and become young adults now on the doorstep of marriage.

The second piece of mail was Amanda and Philip'a invitation to their wedding July 26th at Glenmore Temple. Wow, what a feeling. Do you know what it is like to see your son's name on a wedding see it in print! Wow...we were both a bit misty eyed. Seem silly? You haven't experienced it yet then I assume. The name Waters spelled be Amanda!! Wow...what a feeling. Proud, emotional, thrilled, anxious, many different emotions.

In some ways these milestone moments are similar in emotion to the others. I remember when Wendy told me she was pregnant, when the moment came for Philip to be born. I will never forget holding him for the first time with a smile I thought I would never lose...of course I did on the first diaper change but that's a different emotion!!!

There was his first day of school, his learning to ride a bike, getting his driver's licence, seeing him move into his first apartment.

All these parental milestones bring a certain emotional response - they carry us along. And most of us I think reflect on how quickly, so very quickly, time is passing us by. It isn't of course - time is steady. Twenty-four hours every day. Sixty minutes every hour. It doesn't speed up or slow down. Our perspective changes, and that's what gives time the illusion of speed.

I've prayed for our kids every day of their lives...and we won't be stopping. Parenting might be changing but our belief that God has His hand in their lives remains a firm belief.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mayor's prayer breakfast

So just over 700 Christians and Christian leaders joined together this morning at 7:30 a.m. to pray for our Jewish mayor in Jesus' name. He thanked us in a rather general way and dismissed us to go about doing our "religious things". Amen.

Phil Calaway was the speaker and he was very very good. Quite a touching reference to his ailing parents and the reversal of roles. A few photos from the morning...

Brian sent me this little video - it speakes of the time of year and our oncoming spring season it was more than appropriate. The Divisional Commander is away in Toronto, but don't worry Eric all is well....!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Signs of renewal

I was delighted to finally get a chance tonight to do a bit of yard work. I noticed that the buds are starting to expand and some are greening up. The green shoots of the lilies are pushing their way through the softening earth and even the lawn has some green in it.

Tonight I managed to do a little cleaning around of the trailer exterior - nothing too serious yet - but enough to bring some relief to my obsessive-compulsive nature. Can spring be too far away? I was sorry to miss all the good weather in Edmonton over the weekend but it was great to see Terry, Cath, Noah and Laura during my quick visit to Toronto.

Today we were at Edmonton Temple for their corps review and to meet with Don, Donna and their team. They are good people with a visionary outlook! We appreciate their work ethic.

"I have been driven many times to my knees
by the overwhelming conviction
that I had nowhere else to go.
My wisdom, and that of all about me,
seemed insufficient for the day. "
- Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I should pay more attention to detail

I'm an orange.  You might be more familiar with other personality profiles...the explorer, the entertainer.  They have different handles but one of the characteristics of my personality profile is the struggle to keep tab of details.  I thought I had been doing pretty good - after all this new role requires me to be more diligent in the details.

Schedules, ministry unit requests, duties, board meetings, all means keeping track of details.  

We've had a tough week and there have been some long hours so yesterday as I packed up my files for the weekend, including the details on my flight today, I would normally have taken note of the time etc for the flights.  But I was dead tired...and anxious to get some personal errands taken care of as well.  Thus I threw the papers I needed into my case and out the door we went.

When I looked out the window this morning it was sunny and nice!  I had hoped to get to the garden a bit before heading to the airport.  I put out the bags of bottles and cans for the scouts, made some coffee, started putting together a cheese, onion and tomato omelet, and checked in with Jason to see if he wanted one too.  As we chatted over the breakfast table Wendy asked again.  "What time is your flight?"

"I don't know for sure - I better check" said I as I dug into my was 9:45 a.m.

"Why it leaves at 11:15 a.m. WHAT?!!"

Do you know it takes 16 minutes to shave, shower, pack a suitcase and get out the door?

So tonight I'm at Cath and Terry's place after making the flight.  This trip is a short one - home on Monday and yes I've checked the flight times for Monday!  Oh and by the way - I got the seat in front of the emergency exit that doesn't recline and for good measure the Air Canada attendant let me know before we took off: "Ah - your entertainment system doesn't work!"

Thursday, April 10, 2008

20 nails makes a good illustration

What a long I know why they call a BOARDrooom. Geezz.

Good illustration today by Ken for devotions - I need to get 20 large nails and a piece of wood. Great idea. Once I master it I'll show it to you.

From The Spark that Ignites by Robert Coleman:

"As Sidlow Baxter has put it, "Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons - but they are helpless against our prayers." Satan has already defeated us if we try any substitute. Believing, persistent, determined prayer is the only way of victory. We can do more than pray after we have prayed, godly A.J. Gordon has reminded us, but we cannot do more than pray until we have prayed."

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I read many years ago a wonderful book. It is out of print now, but I have my copy nearby. The Spark that Ignites was written by Robert Coleman and deals with the issue of revival. It has many great quotes but this is one of my favourites!

"One thing more needs to be stressed. Prayer leads to action. We cannot expect God to pour out His blessing unless we are willing to become involved in some kind of redemptive service. Yielding our lives to the Spirit's control means that we must make ourselves available for God to use in answering our prayers." - page 43

A more humorous look at prayer: "A young boy, ready for bed, interupted a family gathering in the livingroom. 'I am going up stairs to say my prayers now. Anybody want anything?'. "

Monday, April 07, 2008

He bathes the wounds of our emotions...a prayer

The Saskatchewan River is thawing. The ice flows, some are huge, are flowing down the river crashing into each other and jamming up. It is amazing to watch and last evening we had supper in a place that gave us a real advantage to view.

Today was the first day of the Edmonton ARC accreditation. This is my third accreditation and I'm getting more comfortable with the details and the process. It is quite thorough and a process that could be applied to many different processes (in my humble opinion). Roy and his crew are well prepared and it is a joy to work with what has been accomplished.

Tonight we joined the staff, or part thereof, at a BBQ with some of the clients of the transitional housing project and some alumni. What a remarkable thing it is to hear their stories. A construction engineer, a heavy machine mechanic, a saftey manager....and many other professionals who lives were wrecked by alcohol and drugs but have been reclaimed, redeemed and restored. The consequences of their actions are not without significance but by God's grace they are now living lives (day by day) of productive, happy purpose.

From Don's sermon on Sunday: "The Word is sweet to the taste - it nurishes with grace and mercy. It is sour in it's judgement - it is hard to hear about accountability - to those who reject God's Word it is not pleasant."

I thoroughly enjoyed worshipping with this song:

"I have a maker He formed my heart,
before even time began My life was in his hands

He knows my name
He knows my every thought,
He sees each tear that falls and hears me when I call

I have a father, he calls me his own
He'll never leave me, no matter where I go

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls and hears me when I call

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Oswald Chambers - my story and his

In our first appointment (Listowel, Ontario) a man who I didn't always see eye to eye on but came to appreciate as a great saint of God was Fred Bailey. He was 62 when we arrived and he had definite ideas about what was The Salvation Army and what wasn't. He also had definite ideas about what was right and what was wrong. Most of that we agreed on - what we didn't agree on were the mechanics or application of our beliefs. Amazing now as I look back over 25 years that we could agree on so much and yet differ on the application...oh I should mention I was 26 and determined to do right, even when everyone around me didn't agree! Maybe it wasn't him.

One of my fondest memories of those days was the day of Fred's retirement. Fred rode his bike to work until his last day and he left early. I went to Fred's home prior to his last bike ride to work and prayed with him for his retirement. It was a learning experience for me to pray with Fred at any time. He had a deep connection with God and his life impacted my ministry.

It was Fred who put me on to was Oswald Chambers' writing. His book "My Utmost for His Highest" was a favourite of Fred's and on this we did agree. This man, though writing in an older more formal manner could concisely take a deep thought of God and express it well. I've only recently read Oswald Chambers' story and here is a short review of it.

Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) was born July 24, 1874, in Aberdeen, Scotland. Converted in his teen years under the ministry of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, he studied art and archaeology at the University of Edinburgh before answering a call from God to the Christian ministry. He then studied theology at Dunoon College. From 1906-1910 he conducted an itinerant Bible-teaching ministry in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan.

In 1910, Chambers married Gertrude Hobbs. They had one daughter, Kathleen.

In 1911 he founded and became principal of the Bible Training College in Clapham, London, where he lectured until the school was closed in 1915 because of World War I. In October 1915 he sailed for Zeitoun, Egypt (near Cairo), where he ministered to troops from Australia and New Zealand as a YMCA chaplain. He died there November 15, 1917, following surgery for a ruptured appendix.

Although Oswald Chambers wrote only one book, Baffled to Fight Better, more than thirty titles bear his name. With this one exception, published works were compiled by Mrs. Chambers, a court stenographer, from her verbatim shorthand notes of his messages taken during their seven years of marriage. For half a century following her husband's death she labored to give his words to the world.

My Utmost For His Highest, his best-known book, has been continuously in print in the United States since 1935 and remains in the top ten titles of the religious book bestseller list with millions of copies in print. It has become a Christian classic.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Three thoughts

Having watched the Montreal Canadiens win 3-1 over the Toronto Maple Leafs this's hard NOT to be in a good mood. Montreal has always been my favourite hockey team. As a teen in Toronto with Harold Ballard seemingly doing his best to sink the Leafs...I began to follow The Habs. Those were the days of Ken Dryden, Guy Lafluer, Larry Robinson and the rest of a winning team. To see those players control the ice was a joy to watch and so I have been a Habs fan ever since.

The team has changed quite a bit as has the NHL but I still love watching them play and the match up with Toronto seems to bring out the best in both teams. Tonight Montreal is fighting to finish first and Toronto is polishing their golf clubs.

I took Wendy shopping today for a hot gift! Yup a new stove and we found the stove we had been looking for. Our present stove has been refusing to go above 250 degrees and the outside of it gets so hot you can almost burn yourself on out it goes and our new one will be here in a couple of weeks. I was very pleased with our find.

Tonight is Scarborough Citadel's anniversary. It would be good to be there. In 1969 my parents were sent there as the corps officers. If you know Scarborough at all you might be amazed that at that time Lawrence and Warden were on the edge of the city. Going north on Warden Avenue would put into farm land within 3 miles. That congregation has supplied TSA with many officers and in many ways I am a product of their ministry.

I picked up an Asparagus plant today. Only $4 it will go in the garden in a few weeks.

Did you know: "Asparagus is a member of the lily family, which also includes onions, leeks, and garlic,but asparagus has a unique mild flavor, nothing like the flavor of its onion cousins.Asparagus plants are perennials, which means the same asparagus plant will producespears year after year. In fact, one plant may produce spears for up to 25 years!"

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Committed to the community

Meadow Lake is a small town of about 5000. The Salvation Army building there is gorgeous giving all who enter a real sense of worship and warmth. Plus they have Tim Horton's coffee!

Tonight Wendy and I had the privilege to sit with Peter and Karen and their team to discuss the direction of TSA in Meadow Lake. They might not have the largest setting but their creative, intelligent approach to reaching those who are hard to love is to be applauded. They have great hearts...and their devotion to making this place committed to the community is just what is needed in all our settings.
I thought I would post this picture of the deer I mentioned that were feeding off the top of the hay bails. Tomorrow we are off to Lloydminster which means we are on the Saskatchewan and Alberta border!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Measuring success

A busy day in the office we left by lunch to head to Meadow Lake. The drive was interesting with a bright blue sky and a warm sun beaming through the window. A sure sign of spring was on the road - plenty of tractors and equipment! Along the way we say several herds of deer. Normally as we travel we see 2 or 3 deer by the side of the road or in a field. This was a herd of 40 or 50. At one point we passed some deer that had jumped up on the large hay bails and they were eating from the top.

I wonder if the hay tastes better on top?

Tomorrow we will be with Karen and Peter. I expect that it will be a good day!

There is a question I have been asked to answer: which of my ministry units is most at risk? I've been mulling over my answer. At first I thought about it in economic terms and I suppose if you can't pay for the ministry then that is a huge issue. But I've been wondering about ministry units that have no financial problems but are at risk due to attitudes. If a ministry unit is self-serving, is that a greater problem that finding funds to continue a viable service? Are there other considerations on the health of a ministry unit, corps or social?