Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mother of the Bride Dress

Outside my window...it rained yesterday, but the rest of the week will be hot. We’re going to the beach on Thursday.
I am thinking...we heard 15 sermons in eight days. I hope it translates into a changed life for us.
I am hoping...my daughter will enjoy the wedding plans. She’s so frustrated at times that she says she wishes they were eloping instead. I told her she’d be glad in the end, for the memories.
I am thankful for...our second week of vacation. We are getting a lot of things done. I bought my mother-of-the-bride dress yesterday. It’s navy, floor length and has on shoulder, which isn’t usually my style, since I’m more of a symmetrical person.

From the kitchen...salmon, skewered vegetables, fresh bread.
I am hearing...the dishwasher. It’s so loud, but I still love it.
I am reading...still on Exploring the Fascinating Life of Jesus by Roger Ellsworth. It’s one of the books we bought at Carey. I tend not to have as much time to read on vacation because I usually read on my commute. Maybe at the beach.
Around the house...my eldest is finished her job at camp and will be here with us for the next six weeks until the wedding.  She is painting some pillars for the ceremony. My youngest got her wisdom teeth out last week while we were at Carey Conference. Now she is working in an office doing filing and things like that for two weeks. It’s better than nothing. It will at least help to pay for her books. We are planning a wedding shower for a week from Saturday.
One of my favourite things....weddings. We were in Delhi for the wedding of a couple in our church. They only had a few weeks to plan it but it was very nice and God honouring. It’s easy to lose sight of that.
Some plans for the week...dental appointment tomorrow, beach day Thursday, family bbq on Friday, then the long weekend. Maybe we’ll have friends over. I hope to finish up some writing projects.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Trailer Living

Outside my window...a sunny week so far. The nights are cooler, but that’s August in Canada for you.
 I am thinking...my meeting about the Ladies’ Retreat went well. Bad news and good news. They decided the topic wouldn’t translate well from a small group over five lessons to a presentation over three hours. But they asked me to be the Speaker if I could present a different topic.
 I am hoping...God will give me a topic so I can get back to them within the month.
 I am thankful for...the opportunity to worship freely, to hear solid preaching and buy books.
From the kitchen...salmon, corn on the cob, Caesar salad. My husband and I went out to a restaurant in Paris for lunch. Yeah, the other Paris. But it was nice.
I am hearing...crickets.
 I am reading...Exploring the Fascinating Life of Jesus by Roger Ellsworth. It’s one of the books we bought at Carey.
 Around the house...this trailer we rented is clean and nice. It’s very small and we’ve caught Kody on the couch a few times. He thinks the rules are different here. He also has to get used to being tied up outside, since there is no fence. He’s a little nervous because everything is different. The shower is teeny tiny and because the hot water tank is equally small, we have to take navy showers. Get wet, water off, lather, rinse. No Hollywood showers. But at least we don’t have to use the public showers.
 One of my favourite things...campfires.
Some plans for the week...enjoy the Carey Conference. Great preaching. Stephen Rees from England is preaching on Paul: God’s man in life or death. First night was awesome. And the singing! O, the singing! A taste of heaven. Nice to catch up with friends. I’m much more mellow about everything, our meal planning and all that. We’re doing fine.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Breathing Easy

Outside my window...another beautiful summer day, although it’s cooler than usual and it’s starting to get dark earlier. :(

I am thinking...this may be my last week before vacation but it will be a busy one. Last week was painfully slow. I did some e-learning to pass the time. I’d rather have it steady than slow. We had a nice visit with our missionaries. We'll see if South Africa is in our future for next year.
I am hoping...to present my synopsis in a professional manner. I am meeting during the Carey Conference  with three women who decide on the speakers for the SGF Women’s Retreat, and I hope to be the speaker next May. They have a few questions for me.

I am thankful for... the result of my sleep test. No sleep apnea. I was worried about having a CPAP machine. He said the gasping could be either that I sleep on my back, which I rarely do, or that my reflux needs to be better controlled, that I lose 10 pounds and get rid of stress. He also said that just because I didn’t have an episode that night doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen another time. That night was a normal result. I don’t really think I have stress, but then I tend to internalize things. As for the ten pounds, I knew that already.

From the kitchen...spaghetti and meatballs, salad.

I am hearing...The breeze coming into the house. Now that the Olympics have ended, I don’t really have a reason to turn the t.v. on.
I am reading...Love in Disguise by Carol Cox.
Around the house...Our eldest hasn’t been home for three weeks. She’s coming with five friends for a bbq on Thursday. My youngest is keeping busy since she never did find a job. She is volunteering this week at the church summer camp she worked at the past two summers. My husband and I are working our last week before another two weeks of vacation. I’m studying about regeneration. Beautiful.
One of my favourite things...Carey Conference. This is our twentieth year.

Some plans for the week...work three nights. Help with daughter’s bbq, pack for Carey, bake and do laundry. Go to Carey and enjoy a spiritual week of rest. I think Kody will like it. I hope he’ll be good.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Outside my window...muggy weather. No surprise. This is Toronto.
I am thinking...some days I'm pretty insecure. I get only a few minutes a day with my husband and it's not enough. Well, soon we'll have another two weeks off together.
I am hoping...a couple from our church can plan their sudden wedding. They have two and a half weeks.
I am thankful for...a job. They are beginning layoffs in our hospital. I feel pretty secure with my 26 years' seniority.
From the kitchen...meat eggrolls and rice.
I am hearing...a very quiet unit. The O.R. is closed this week so we have only chemo and radiation patients. Quite a change from last week, which was crazy busy. I also had a pt. with a demaning and high maintenance family. I've never been happier to see the end of a week. Tonight I'm doing some e-learning inservices.
I am reading...Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer. Another Western Inspirational romance. I'm on a kick, right now. Cowboys. (sigh)
Around the house...I've already started packing for the Carey Conference. It always takes a lot of planning. Kody will be with us in the trailer. I hope he'll be good around the other dogs and all those people.
One of my favourite things...we took a beach day, just me and my hubby. We got our usual spot on the beach and did nothing all morning. Then, because we weren't finished, we did nothing all afternoon.
Some plans for the week...work three nights. BBQ with friends and missionaries we support to discuss a possible missions trip next year, if it's financially feasible. If it doesn't rain this weekend, we will try to get in another beach day. We'll take the dog with us this time, and he can swim. Sunday, I'd like to finally go to The Taste of the Danforth, for Greek food. Opa!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Speaking To A Dying World

As an oncology nurse, I’ve seen hundreds of deaths. I’ve seen sudden death and lingering death, peaceful death and painful death. I’ve seen the difference between how believers and unbelievers die. Seeing someone take their last breath is a sobering experience.
Because of my field of work, I’m a realist about death. Yet as a believer, I’m an optimist. I know that God does heal. My husband is fourteen years cancer free. However, some cancers recur, others spread rapidly despite treatment.
The world avoids the whole idea of death with entertainment and distractions. Even believers who are secure in their salvation may still fear the mode of death itself.
Life is short, maybe 80 years. Even the longest life is distilled into a twenty minute eulogy. “Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting. For that is the end of all men, and the living will take it to heart.” Ecc.7:2
To the unbeliever, death is the Great Unknown. It is a fearful thing. They have no hope of ever seeing their loved ones again. They have only despair. Their idea of eternal life is that the person will live on as long as someone remembers them.
But we don’t sorrow as those who have no hope. Death does not have the last word. Because Jesus rose from the grave, we will, too.
Tucked away in 2 Kings 6 and 7 is an account of a terrible famine in the besieged city of Samaria. The Syrian army was camped outside the walls. The people were resorting to cannibalism. Elisha prophesies a sudden reversal of the famine in one day. Four lepers are sitting outside the city and decide they can either starve to death where they are, or surrender to the enemy and perhaps find mercy. If not, they’ll die either way. In the mean time, God had routed the army. They fled leaving everything behind. The lepers go from tent to tent, eating and gathering treasures, until their conscience pricks them. They remember their brothers dying in the city while they have such abundance. They say, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent.”
They return to the city with the good news, their story is corroborated, and the famine is reversed, as prophesied.
We bask in the joy of sins forgiven, the hope of Heaven. But we can’t just gorge ourselves and not share the Living Bread. “We are not doing right.” We cannot remain silent. “This is a day of good news. “
There’s an urgent need for the gospel. There’s a famine out there. It’s a dying world. Do we live like it? Or are we so self satisfied that we forget their destination without Christ? We squander opportunities to share the gospel, talking about nothing of consequence. I know I do.
So how do we tell them? Just say something! Like the healed blind man in John 9, he wasn’t able to argue about theological issues, but he could say, “One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.” “Evangelism is just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.” (D.T. Niles) Tell them where they can find bread.
Pia Thompson

Published in Summer 2012 issue of Barnabas