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Showing posts from May, 2010

Is God Good? Really?

The following was written by Russ Toews, "Mission and Church Extension director for the MB Church of Manitoba. He and [his wife] Sharon live in Winnipeg."

Reflections on a son's suicide

"They kept ringing the door bell, insistently. And I was having such a nice sleep. (Something that would now elude me for months.)

"It was 5:45 a.m., October 6, 2008. Two Winnipeg police officers had come to tell us that our son Brad was dead. All they knew or were willing to say was that it involved a train near Providence College and that he was the only one hurt.  

"Four hours later, the RCMP told us the train engineer saw Brad put his head on the tracks, and though the engineer hit the brakes and blew the horn non-stop, Brad did not move. And, Brad had written a letter." Click here to continue the story.

Memoirs of My Great-grandfather James Albert Hirtle

I was browsing online tonight and found something I submitted online many years ago--the memoirs of my Great-grandfather, James Albert Hirtle.  Born in 1866 in Nova Scotia, he wrote his memoirs in 1955.  I hope you enjoy.

Here's a glossary provided by someone whose name I apparently didn't write down:

Billet (noun): A piece of wood cut to a proper length for fuel; billet-wood. A thick stick used as a weapon.
Fitch (noun): A brush made of the hair of a polecat, also, a small hog's-hair brush.
Hornbeam (noun): A tree indigenous in England, so called from its hard, tough, close-grained wood. Also in America the Blue Beech , earlier called hard-beam.
Penstock (noun): A sluice for restraining or regulating the flow from a head of water formed by a pen as in a water-mill. A tube by which water is conveyed from a head of water into a turbine.  Also applied to the barrel of a pump.
Pipkin (noun): A small earthenwa…

Jeremiah's Story of God's Love

I originally wrote this, quite a few years ago, for a friend who had trouble knowing the depth of God's love for her. Perhaps you are like my friend, uncertain about the faithfulness of God's love for you. Maybe you have a secret fear that if you do something wrong, God withdraws his love. I hope that the following will reassure you that God's love for you never fails and is beyond what any of us can comprehend.
We see the Old Testament as a place full of God's wrath and fail to see how much of a love letter it is to us as a people but also to us as individuals. Yes, it was written to Jacob's descendants but we have been grafted into that tree and so it is written to us as well. I encourage you to look at the verses I refer to. I will not necessarily be quoting. Sometimes it's a quote and sometimes it's a paraphrase or simply a description of what's said.
God starts out talking to Jeremiah but what he says of Jeremiah is true of you as well. "Before …

Blessings of Mother's Day

I didn't think Mother's Day was going to be a problem for me until I started reading online greetings this morning from people who remembered this would be my first Mother's Day without all four sons.  Then I got a bit teary.

A migraine had been trying to set up residence since early last evening and was threatening to keep me home from church, but perhaps going to a place that's saturated with prayer would help.  Besides, where better to be on a special, bittersweet day than church?

We have a prayer meeting before the service each week and for me, this time is the best part of church.  I was late because I stopped to help a young woman struggling to walk with with four enormous loads of laundry so prayer was already happening when I walked through the door.  The first words I heard were, "the mothers who mourn."  Perfect timing!  All were silent as I found a place to sit and then Nathan continued his prayer, praying specifically for me.  Ken came, laid his h…