Moving on…

I haven’t posted anything here for a few months and, because we moved from Elliot Lake to St Marys over two months ago, I have decided to retire Two weeks from everywhere. The title speaks more of life in Elliot Lake than it does of being in St Marys. We had a (mostly) great fourteen years in Elliot Lake and it will always be special to us in its own way, especially as that was where our son was born. However, in comparison, being in St Marys seems more like being two minutes from everywhere. Even though it is smaller than Elliot Lake it now seems like we are two minutes from everywhere – twenty minutes from Stratford, thirty minutes from London, just over an hour from the US border, and just under two hours from Toronto.

With all of this in mind, I have started another blog, Roads go ever ever on, which will be more of a reflection of life in St Marys. It’s a work in progress and it will probably undergo a few changes in the next little while. Thanks for following this blog and I hope to see you at the new one. I’ll leave this one up, but this will be the last post here.

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Moving on…

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Today we officially found out that after fourteen years of ministry in Elliot Lake we are moving on to new opportunities in Southern Ontario. On June 26 we will take up our new appointment at St. Mary’s Community Church.

Obviously, after having been here for such a long time, there are some mixed feelings about moving on. Having said that, the timing is right and we are very excited at the prospect of a new challenge in a new community (new to us anyway). We don’t know very much about St. Mary’s, but I’m sure we’ll find out a lot about it in the next few weeks.

There have been a lot of good times here in Elliot Lake, as well as some challenging ones. Our son was born here and we’ve watched our children grow up to be teenagers.There was also the excitement of opening our new building downtown in May 2009 and the fresh opportunities that brought. The biggest challenges for us have come in the past three years, especially with the aftermath of the mall collapse in June 2012. Some of these challenges have been draining and we believe that things will benefit from the fresh perspective that our successors will be able to bring to the community.

Over the past few months there have been some unfounded rumours about us leaving and the Army being closed down here. These have mainly been by people who don’t have a great understanding of how things work in our organization. As a lot of what was being said was second or third-hand gossip it was very difficult to deal with. The truth is that things will continue to operate after we leave here. There are no plans to close anything down and, in fact, the new people may see some different opportunities to expand upon some of the foundations that are already here.

The next few weeks will be busy, as we work through fourteen years of accumulation and pack up our belongings. The worst part may be packing up all the books we have gathered. I did cull a few in the past few months, but I find it really difficult to part with them.

I’ll post some updates as things progress, or if we find out more that we can share about St. Mary’s. Until then, if it is your thing, a few prayers for a smooth transition would be really helpful.

Lent 2015 – Day 3

Thankfully, I woke up this morning headache free, so it would seem that I am over my coffee withdrawal. Today was a better day than yesterday, but I still didn’t get some of the things done that I had hoped to. I started the day as I do most Fridays, going out for breakfast with a few of the usual friends I meet up with on Friday before heading to work. The food and conversation were both great, so it made for a good start to the day.

It was a bitterly cold day today, so much so that the school buses were cancelled for the first time this year. In spite of the cold, the drop-in centre was very busy, which is why I probably didn’t get much of what I had planned accomplished. This wasn’t a bad thing and it seemed that a lot of people wanted to talk to me today during our lunchtime. The conversations ranged from the plight of the Maple Leafs to poverty and everything else in between!

Poverty seems to be a huge issue in our little community at the moment, as we struggle to move forward from the tragic events of almost three years ago. A lot of people have moved away and it seems that many who have stayed don’t know how to move forward, or haven’t got either the means or the incentive to do so.

Tonight, as I’ve been thinking about some of these conversations from earlier today, I’ve been reflecting upon some of the things that Shane Claiborne wrote or said. Once in a while I like to read some of his stuff, as it challenges me to think about what we do here or if we could be doing something more or different or both. Some of my favourite, and challenging, quotes of his are the following:

“Few people are interested in a religion that has nothing to say to the world and offers them only life after death, when what people are really wondering is whether there is life before death.”

“When we ask God to move a mountain, God may give us a shovel.”

“When we truly discover how to love our neighbor as our self, Capitalism will not be possible and Marxism will not be necessary.”

“What if evangelical mega churches became known around the world for things like providing water access for entire countries or fighting to end the AIDS pandemic? Imagine what integrity that would give to the good news we preach, especially the gospel that Jesus declares is good news to the poor.”

“The lives of the thirty thousand children who die of starvation each day is like 6 September 11ths every single day, a silent tsunami that happens every week.”

There are lots more I could share, but if you want to read more, then pick up a copy of his The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary RadicalIt is worth reading, but be prepared to be challenged. Like the book I mentioned yesterday, it’s another book I should probably read again soon. Having too many good books to read is a big problem I continually face, but compared to some of the problems I talked about with others today, it’s really not that much of a problem anyway.

Saturday Snapshot – Twilight (Oct 25)

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy. Go there to see how you can participate.

Earlier this week on one night where it was pleasant and calm, and not too chilly, my son and I took the opportunity of going out in the early evening for a walk. For once I actually remembered to take my camera. The light was failing, but I liked the way the streetlight in the following pictures was lighting up the path and the almost bare trees, so I snapped a few pics to try and capture the moment.

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Saturday Snapshot – Rumours of Fall (Sept 6)

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy. Go there to see how you can participate.

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The leaves have started to change and are beginning to fall 😦

New Month, New Design, New Outlook

For a number of reasons, I haven’t been posting much here over the past few weeks. I was also a bit tired of the way it looked, so I’ve uploaded a different theme to give things a fresher look and to hopefully give me some inspiration to start posting again.

The past few weeks have been a bit of a roller-coaster ride. We were away at a Salvation Army Congress last month, which turned out to be much better than I thought it would be. We met a lot of friends we hadn’t seen for a while, the meetings were pretty good overall, and the speakers were all great, giving us plenty to think about as we returned to our regular lives and routines. Following this, however, we had a very challenging week where we had to make a few tough decisions. There were also some negative things going on that we really had no control over. Fortunately we are going on vacation soon, with a family wedding to look forward to, and this will give us a chance to recharge our batteries and be ready to get on with things again in the fall.

We are already halfway through the year. So far 2014 has been a fairly decent year. There are always challenges that come your way, especially in our line of work, but nothing has been insurmountable so far. I’ve made a number of positive lifestyle changes and have tried to approach things with a new outlook to life. One of the most positive things that is part of this is that I have lost almost 30 pounds so far this year and am feeling really good for this. I’d like to lose about another 20 before the end of the year, which will bring me close to what is my ideal weight. I’ve also tried to change some of my habits, especially endeavouring to have a more optimistic outlook on life than I had previously had. This has helped in my approach to some of the previously mentioned challenges we have had to face.

As we enter our fourteenth year of being in Elliot Lake there are a number of things we have to consider. There are still a number of things we have to work on at Hope. There will always be fresh challenges to face there. We also have to think about our family, especially now that we have two teenagers living in our household. This place has been good for us over the past thirteen years. Ultimately the length of time we have here is not up to us and we remain open to whatever comes our way as far as appointments go. Until we are told otherwise, we remain committed to being here and that is fine with us. We knew what to expect when we signed up for this.

Hopefully the new design, along with my new outlook on life, will inspire me to get back to posting here more frequently again. I have number of book reviews and photo assignments to catch up on, so that should get me going again. If you are inclined to pray, then think of us in your prayers as we try to sort through a few issues here. Also a few prayers for us to have a restful and enjoyable vacation would be pretty welcome. If you are not the praying kind, then a few thoughts or words of encouragement would be equally welcome.

Project 52-23

Here is my contribution to the Project 52-2014 group I belong to on Flickr. This week’s theme was ‘almost nothing’:

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