Friday’s Fave Five #67

FFF fall leaves 2

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

1. Visit with a friend. My husband co-pastors with another man. These two men each prefer the other and use their diverse gifts to work together for the body of Christ in our local church. The other pastor’s wife has MS and I struggle with fibromyalgia and arthritis. We two wives don’t always make it to church and certainly don’t get to spend much time together. This week we were able to enjoy a nice, edifying visit together.

2. Not getting lost. I am hopelessly directionally challenged. Well, maybe not hopelessly, since I was able to drive twice this week into new areas and not get lost! For someone like me, that is very encouraging.

3. Local cuisine. Our small town was established by Francophones and has purposely developed a French theme. A few months ago a new Quebec French restaurant (called Chartier) opened (with help from a very popular local crowd funding campaign.) We took some friends there to eat last week, and the place was buzzing! The whole staff is intent on offering locally sourced (when possible) foods and have been exceptionally careful to work with patrons who have food allergies and restrictions. My gluten-free duck grunt was absolutely delicious, and everyone else at the table raved about their meals.

4. Harvest moon. After our meal last Friday night, we drove around the perimeter of our town to look at both the recent development and the surrounding fields. It was neat to see the combines and other machinery working into the night to bring in the harvest. While we were watching the farmers work, we saw the mood rise. The beautiful orangey full moon was a harvest moon. I didn’t have my camera with me so I simply sat back and enjoyed the beauty of the evening.

5. College football. Call me crazy, but I enjoy watching US college football when I have a chance. It’s been fun to watch my home state team, the Ohio State Buckeyes, play very well. Go Bucks!

Here are some pictures from this past week.

Bird boxes

bird boxes

waiting for harvest

waves of ripened grain

along the fenceline

along the fence line

dried and ready

dried and ready

Alberta's changing colors

Alberta’s changing colors

already cut

already taken in

cut and dried

in the shadow of the cloud

in the shadow of the cloud

whispers of red

whispers of red

I love fences

I love fences

 

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Friday’s Fave Five #41

christmas-fff

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

Book Club One of my daughters started a book club and invited me to participate. I’ve really enjoyed interacting with my daughter and her friends as we continue this fun and challenging exercise.

Birthday Yesterday was my 60th birthday. It’s always extra special having a birthday at the beginning of July. When I was a kid we would enjoy 4th of July celebrations near my birthday, including one memorable year when we all crowded into my grandparent’s bathroom while a tornado churned over us.

Now that I am also a Canadian, I get to celebrate Canada Day on July 1st which is also my oldest grandchild’s birthday. I am very blessed to be a part of two such wonderful heritages.

Friends and Photography Last weekend we attended a conference about an eight hour drive from us in Saskatchewan. It was a blessing to reconnect with others in ministry, some of whom we have known for over 20 years. I also got to practice some more of my landscape photography, though on the fly as we headed home since there was no time to stop and set up a shot. In spite of that, I think I got some memorable pictures.

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Camera My husband blessed me with a new camera for my birthday. He is so thoughtful and generous and knows how much I enjoy taking landscape pictures. Such a blessing!

Family and Gluten free food My niece is up visiting my middle daughter and we have been able to enjoy doing some special things together. We visited the Muttart Conservatory and had a family birthday cook out yesterday. Today we visited my favorite Beaumont restaurant, the Crepe & Shake Café. They are always super careful to take care of my gluten-free needs, and their food is local sourced and delicious.

FullSizeRenderHope you can think of some blessings from this past week and look for new ones in this coming week!

 

Friday’s Fave Five #24

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On Fridays we stop and share five blessings from the week.  Suzanne came up with this idea and hosts this weekly time at Living to Tell the Story.

1. Hip, hip hooray!  I have a surgery date!! My hip replacement is scheduled for November 21.  I go in for a 4-6 hour teaching session at the hip and knee clinic next Thursday where they will go over physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nutrition, and other topics to help us before and after surgery.

2. Drive in the country My husband took me for a drive in the country. Along our route we stopped to take autumn pictures.  The next day my daughter asked me if I wanted to go for a drive in the country with her!  We also stopped to take pictures.  Loving the two for one weekend special!

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3.  Directionally dysfunctional I am directionally dysfunctional.  My family knows this.  Most of my friends know this. Until I have driven (not riding along as a passenger, but actually doing the driving myself) the route several times, I generally get lost, make wrong turns, or otherwise get turned around.  And yes, I use Google Maps which are somewhat helpful.

GPS, on the other hand has not proven to be all it’s cracked up to be.  If the funky voice would tell me, “Slam on the brakes and turn left RIGHT NOW!” I could probably use it.  However, it tells me, “Turn left in 50 metres.”  I look ahead and in what seems to me to be 50 meters are three roads all turning left.  Which one is the correct one?  If I choose the wrong one how do I get back on track?  I choose.  Oops, wrong road. The funky voice, growing more irritating now, tries to smooth over my mistake.  What it really wants to do is snort and call me an imbecile, but instead in faux soothing tones it tells me “In 50 metres turn left then turn right.”  Again I look ahead and see two roads in close proximity which both turn left, but branch off in widely divergent paths.  I again make the wrong choice.  I am now a human version of an unimaginably tangled ball of yarn.  Whimpering, I pull off the road and call my husband, or CAA, or anyone with access to a computer and google maps.

So you will understand my absolute euphoria over the fact that I found my way, forty minutes away, to the west side of Edmonton, to a place I had never been before, and afterward to a favorite gluten free store further north in the city, and finally back home, WITHOUT GETTING LOST OR MAKING ANY WRONG TURNS!  I shall note it in my diary for it may never happen again.

4.  Friends I am so grateful that friends don’t all have to be in the same age group.  I have been blessed by friendship with ladies both older and younger than me.  Yesterday I enjoyed sweet Christian fellowship with a young woman the age of my own daughters and came away from our time together encouraged in the Lord.

5. Mental exercises My youngest daughter has introduced me to Lumosity and I am enjoying the challenge of these mental exercises.  I may actually improve my ‘brain fitness’ but right now I am just having fun playing the games. It might not be as fun if I paid to play but I am accessing only the free section of the program.

Friday’s Fave Five #17

FFF spring

 

Suzanne at Living to Tell the Story hosts this weekly exercise in recounting a few blessings from the previous week.  It has encouraged and blessed my soul to participate!

1.  WCBF Ladies Retreat – We had wonderful fellowship and great physical and spiritual food at the ladies retreat.  It was a very encouraging time away.

 2.  Changed plans – My husband has been on vacation this week.  We were planning to go away, but Saturday night my leg (the side that needs hip replacement) went into severe and extremely painful spasms so that I could not even walk without someone helping me.  My dear husband set aside his longed-for time away to be with me and help me.  Though not what we had originally planned, we have been having a restful and enjoyable stay-cation at home.                                                                                           Bud and Deb 1985 ish

3.  Anniversary – Sunday I will have been married to this wonderful man for 35 years.  We were both young, idealistic, and immature when we married, but God has taught us and strengthened our love for each other and for Him over these 35 years.  I am so blessed!! (This pic was taken after we had been married about 6 years.  Don’t you love the glasses?)

4. Loving family and friends – Once again my family(especially Sarah) and my church family have blessed us and loved us this past week when I could do very little for myself.  My heartfelt thanks to each of you who have prayed and provided over this past week.

5.  Green landscapes – It has rained all week (Yay! No snow!!) and today dawned sunny and warm.  Everything has greened up this week.  Today I am mobile enough to plant my raised bed herb garden.

“Count your blessings, name them one by one,  count your blessings, see what God has done!”

 

Friends and Thieves

When our children were young we had no other families with small children in our new little church.  Often at family devotions one of our children would pray that God would send them each a Christian friend, but they had to wait a long time for God’s answer to that prayer.

In  struggling with the desire to have a friend her own age, our daughter wrestled  with the temptation to overlook things she knew were wrong for the sake of having someone to play with.  Her prayers for a Christian friend seemed to be answered when the family of one of her classmates began attending our church and the two girls started spending time together.  The new family had standards which were different from ours, evidenced in almost every area of life.   This difference provided a springboard for our children to ask many questions as to why we do what we do, and allowed us to point out the biblical defence for our choices.

One day while these nine year old girls were playing together, they decided, without permission, to ride their bicycles to the nearby drug store. When their trek lead them to the cosmetics counter, our daughter’s friend held up a brightly coloured lipstick and suggested they should each get one. Our daughter pointed out that they had no money, but her friend showed her how easy it was to slip that slender tube into her pocket and take it without paying for it.  It was so pretty!  They would be like the bigger girls!  And, after all, it only cost a little bit of money so it wasn’t really like stealing.  James 1:15 tells us “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin,” So the deed was done and the girls left the store.

The lipstick stayed hidden for a short time, but soon I noticed telltale red marks in the vicinity of my daughter’s lips. (Did she think I wouldn’t notice?)  Had she used mommy’s lipstick without asking?  No?  What do you mean it is your lipstick?  You’re not allowed to have lipstick.  You got it at the store when you were at your friend’s?  How could you buy it when you had no money?  Soon the compromised conscience of a young child who has been taught right but has done wrong caused her to confess her sin in tears.  We told her that she had to go with us to the store and talk to the manager, confess her theft, and pay for the lipstick.

We then called the friend’s mother and told her what had happened.  Imagine our consternation and absolute shock when this mother responded that she knew about the theft but wouldn’t dream of embarrassing her daughter by making her go to the store manager and confess the theft. No amount of urging or biblical admonition would budge this woman’s position.  The welfare of her child’s soul was bartered at the altar of keeping up appearances.  And so ended a less than beautiful friendship for these two girls.

The Bible has much to say about friendships.  Godly friends can bring us immeasurable benefit.  David was grateful for the unselfish friendship of Jonathan, who put his friend’s welfare before his own. (I Samuel 18:3)  The Proverbs remind us that a true friend loves at all times and speaks the truth to us, even when it may temporarily hurt.  (Proverbs 17:17 & 27:6)  Obedient Christians are counted as friends of Jesus. (John 15: 14-15)

On the other hand, the wrong friends can harm us.  Amnon’s friend gave him counsel that ultimately lead to death.  (II Samuel 13:3)  Haman’s friends commiserated with him in his plot against the Jews and none of them warned against carrying out the wicked scheme (Esther 5.) Job’s friends came to wrong conclusions about Job’s troubles and could not help him see God’s providential hand in difficult circumstances (throughout Job.) We are warned not to make friends of an angry man (Proverbs 22:24) or with worldly people, who are God’s enemies (James 4:4.) Finally, we are warned that evil or ungodly companions can corrupt us (I Corinthians 15:33.)

Our daughter learned some valuable lessons about friends through that incident.  She still yearned for a close friend and even had other disappointments of friends professing faith in Christ, then falling away from that profession.  Her tender heart discovered that in Christ “there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”  (Prov. 18:24) Several years later God graciously granted her the desire of her heart by bringing a newly saved classmate to our church.  This girl loves the Lord, is obedient to the Scriptures and wants to serve God with all her heart.  Our daughter gratefully discovered the joy of having the right kind of friends.