Showing posts from April, 2011

Flying Straighter

By Belinda My friend Marilyn wrote a short p.s. in a comment on my last post: Flying Straight . I had struggled to give words to something that is more easily felt than expressed and which I called lamely, "leading while close," for the lack of a better way to put it. Marilyn's comment said,  "p.s. I look forward to your expanded thoughts on leading while close." Of course that nudged me to think harder--knowing that someone was "looking forward " to "expanded thoughts." I don't even know if I will do any better in this attempt, but I'm hoping that you will bear with me as I try to explain.   In my journal I used the words "leading with," rather than "leading while close," but neither really says what I meant. What I was really straining for were words that were the opposite of my natural tendency to lead, "from a polite distance." I have held boundaries that I thought were necessary in order to
Susan sent me this video of Carrie Underwood singing How Great Thou Art. What a blessing! I had to pass it on.

Flying Straight

By Belinda In the front of my cherished Harold Taylor Day Planner  there is a really important page. And until today it has remained blank--as pristine as the day I first looked at it in anticipation of the coming year, back in December. It is because it is so important that it remains blank. And if that makes no sense now that I am writing it down, that is a good fact to acknowledge. Not taking time for the most important things and getting trapped in trivia are things this planner tries hard to help me avoid after all! :) The page is headed, 2011 Policies and Annual Goals, and has the instruction, "In the space below, write in your personal policies such as, 'I will not work on Sundays.' Stick to these in order to maintain balance and personal integrity. I have my 2010 Mission Statement and Principles to Live By in a binder, and it still inspires and challenges me when I read them. They are still foundational aspirations in my life. But I hope that I never stop

The Hilarity of Growing Older

There are things about growing older that are just plain fun. There is the phenomenon known as "loss of nouns," for instance. I'm all over that. Or maybe it would be more apt to say, "It's all over me!"  I was reassured that it isn't just people getting older who have this problem when one of my small grandchildren asked me at church recently, before coming over to our house, "Omie do you have any of those round white things?"  "Round white things? Do you mean Grandad's Scotch mints?" "No, they're sugary," his eyes were "seeing them" as he talked. They looked far away and dreamy.  "And they melt on your tongue when you put them in your mouth," he continued. All I could think of was those small pastel coloured rice paper flying saucer things filled with sherbet that I used to buy at the sweet shop in England when I was a child. I don't remember what they are called either!

What to Wear for Easter

I found this post in my blog's archives; written three years ago by one of my favourite writers and a dear friend; Dave Hingsburger. As an Easter gift, I am sharing it again. Happy Easter everyone! A guest post by  Dave Hingsburger I've never understood the relationship between clothing and faith. Long before I became aware that we lived in a multi-cultural world, I questioned the very idea that God cares about what we wear to church. The high holidays of Easter and Christmas had my family getting dressed up and trotting off to church. There in the pews I saw everyone else from my small town dressed differently than they did normally. Tough, hard, miners hands stuck out of uncomfortable suits. Strong backed, strong armed mothers looked somehow wrong in pinks and pastels. I remember, wearing shirts that hurt to wear, wondering if God were looking down on us approvingly for dressing up for him. It seemed like we were playing 'pretend' and trying to trick God into thin

A Pre-Easter Devotion

By Belinda Dear friends, Susan shared this with me this morning with these words, " This will be a few minutes well spent.  Perfect for a pre-easter devotional...  It's wordless, but powerful."  I did take a few minutes, and it was, so of course, I wanted to share it with you. I pray that as you prepare for Easter morning, Easter will come alive in your heart as it is in mine this weekend. I am looking forward to the Sunrise Service at the Tottenham Conservation area, which mercifully starts at 7.00 this year. :)  My dear friend Dave has written a beautiful piece for Whatever He Says on What to Wear for Easter. I will be posting it for our Easter post this evening, so that we all have time to get dressed appropriately. Eastter blessings

Beyond Raisin

By Belinda It all started over supper on Thursday evening. Jane said to me, "Belinda, can you make raisin pie?"  "Well, I never have," I said, "But I'm sure I could find a recipe, why?" It turned out that Jane; a retired Salvation Army officer and a volunteer chaplain with the Toronto Police Force, had asked a man whom she's supporting through his last few weeks of life, what his favourite pie is.  It is raisin.  I was on it! And on Saturday morning after breakfast I told Brenda what was on my agenda. "You're making raisin pie?!" She was excited, "Can I buy two--one for Pastor Dan and one for Easter dinner with Kevin's family?"  Of course she could; I'm still baking as many pies as I get orders for, for the Power of One fund raising cause.   I consulted my most trusted recipe books when it comes to pies: my Better Homes and Gardens, and my old Purity Cook Book from the 1970's. Better Homes's raisin pie

With Greater Care

By Belinda I have continued thinking about Thursday's post on the issue of abortion. It generated some thoughtful comments, and a private email discussion with another friend, all of which helped me sort out my thoughts better than I had when I wrote on Thursday evening. What I wrote I sounds judgemental and black and white. And I used the words "erase the result of an unthinkable assault." Abortion ends a life and I diminished that fact by my choice of words. That doesn't mean though, that I stand in judgement on anyone who has made that choice, no matter how painfully or easily. So I wanted to come back to the topic with greater care. The friend who wrote to me privately said that what bothered her was that many who believe it is wrong to kill an unborn baby through abortion advocate for capital punishment and support their country going to war to kill other people, especially in countries that supply their oil. She emphasized the importance of giving women

Pro Life--Pro Choice

By Belinda A conversation with some friends on the issue of pro choice versus pro life, left me thinking. A couple of friends surprised me with their point of view. One friend said he thought that if a woman was the victim of a brutal rape, she should have the choice to end the pregnancy. He said he was pro choice--"God gives us freedom of choice," he said. "Freedom of choice to kill?" I asked. The group of us, all believers, talked it through long and hard; me, still surprised that it would even be a question. But I wondered later if I was being hypocritical.  Would I compromise if the issue was closer to home--not so hypothetical? Would I be tempted by the ability to erase the result of an unthinkable assault if a grandchild was the victim? It's easy to be so sure when it isn't you in the situation. In the next room Paul was discussing the same question with another group of friends and afterwards he said, when I shared our discussion, "We


By Belinda Today at work some of us took time out from the regular routine. About 50 of us laughed, worshipped, drank coffee, enjoyed great food and listened to an inspirational guest speaker. There were many great quotes, both profound and funny, floating around, but one really made me stop and think: Strangely enough, this is the past that somebody in the future is longing to go back to. I'm a live-in-the-moment kind of person already, but that quote has the capacity to ramp that up a notch. Doesn't it make you want to savour "now?" Doesn't it make you want to listen; inhale; look around; slow down; sniff the air; go hug the people you love? That's the effect it has on me. I'm thankful to be living now, where I live and with whom I live. The speaker handed out individual quotes on slips of paper and we had to choose from the many, one that we could make our own, fold the paper in half and put our name on it. Well, the little group that I was sit

Stormy Weather

By Belinda I was distracted and worried about something this weekend and couldn't write, like I used not to be able to eat if I was stressed about something. I realize what a measure of my inner state writing is, and how wonderful it was today, as the burden on my heart began to lift somewhat, to hear myself "writing in my head" again, as I normally do. I knew I was "back." Please don't worry about me now, just in case you might. :) I am okay, and my worries were all about someone else--well, several "some-ones" actually--and you'd think I'd know better by now but my brain worried about all three of them all night long and now they've had their ration of my thinking time. I know I should have done a much better job of turning them over to God. But I kept turning them over to him, over and over again, all night long. :) The weather here in Ontario has been as topsy-turvy as my heart. Yesterday morning we drove to church in a stiff w

Small Powerful Choices

By Belinda From July 2008. (Forgive me, friends, for not giving "fresh bread" this weekend. I needed to take some time to just "be." I shall be back!) Each day is a series of small choices that seem insignificant at the moment, but which actually affect not just us but those with whom we connect, and maybe those with whom they connect. I'm thinking of the choice at any given moment, between thinking negatively, speakng a word of criticism or complaint; or taking the road of gratitude and appreciation. What started me thinking about this was an interview I heard on the radio this week. A comedian was the guest and I admired the way he managed to keep the interview positive. He said that he gets most of his material from reflecting on our culture, in which most of us have no idea how good we have it and tries to point that out by finding humour in the ludicrous; for example, someone getting frustrated by the fact that a computer takes 12 seconds to boot up,
By Belinda My friend and coworker, Karen Lubbers a.k.a. Karebear, posted this video on her blog Riding in God’s Palm  where she shares her journey of preparation and longing to return to Uganda.  She has to raise a certain amount of money to get back there with International Teams  . The video shows the work that is to be done. We may be unable to be the hands, feet and heart to go there, but Karen is ready to go with our help. If God so moves on your heart, you can donate to her support on her blog.

What if the Exodus from Egypt happened in 2011 instead?

Son Peter sent this to us and it was sent to him by a Jewish friend. Too funny! Belinda
 By Belinda I went to a memorial gathering today. Someone said to me, "This is the best funeral I've been to," and how wonderful it was, that, "the clients," were "calling the shots." It was a funny way to put it, but, "The clients calling the shots;" wouldn't be a bad philosophical stance for an agency doing some things right. And if life for people with disabilities turned out like our friend's memorial service, it wouldn't be a bad life at all, for it was wonderful. They planned her memorial with her favourite colours, her favourite food (cheezies, butter tarts, chips and pop. Oh, and a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting showed up from somewhere, too,) and her favourite songs were sung, ending with, "You are my Sunshine." I hope that when my time comes to be remembered,  people have fun the way we did today, (but I have a sneaking suspicion it won't be half as much fun,) and I hope as many people she

Mohrruben Kuchen A.K.A. Carrot Cake

By Belinda This weekend I said to my brother Rob, over the phone, "Do you remember the carrot cake I used to make?" (This would have been in the 1970s when Rob lived with us for 2 years.) "Remember it? Of COURSE I do," he said, leaving me in no doubt that his memories were fond. I told him I'd made one last week, but I couldn't find my recipe and the one I made didn't quite taste the same, even though it went down just fine with all of us. Well, I finally found the recipe. That's it, up there, on loose leaf, lined paper, with the splodges that must adorn all favourite recipes, handwritten by me, over thirty years ago! It really is a great recipe, although not calorie conscious I'm afraid, but I console myself with the fact that it does have fruit, nuts and vegetables in it. Right now my house is fragrant. The result of an evening baking session. 1 1/2 cups oil 2 cups sugar 4 eggs 2 cups all purpose flour 1/2 tsp baking powder 2

Oh, Canada; Let’s Stand on Guard for our Veterans: A Challenge to Canada’s Political Candidates

I was in my car, listening to an interview on CBC radio with a Canadian soldier and his wife. He was home from the war in Afghanistan; sort of. He was home in "body," but the man who came home was not the same man that left—not on the inside. Their story was of a lack of understanding, financial support, and resources for returning vets. I reached my destination but found myself gripped by the interview. I grew up in the 1950s, the daughter of a veteran of World War 11. He never spoke of what he experienced until just before his death. He drank too much; was prone to rage and was distant emotionally, except when drinking. We didn’t know the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) back then, but now that label explains a lot. He was suffering, and not just with the old shrapnel wound in his leg. He had wounds that no one saw but which were just as real as those you could. And he was just doing the best he could with the wounds that were never acknowledged. I wish I had

Found Treasure Part 2

Today in England it is Mothering Sunday. My friend  Dave Hingsburger  sent me this in response to Friday's post,  Found Treasure  about Mum's Potato Leek Soup recipe. With his kind permission, it seems like the perfect post for today, when I am thanking God for my treasured Mum. with whom I will  be talking this morning. By Dave I sat peeling potatoes and glancing down at the recipe. It was deceptively simple and, concerningly lacking in herbs and spices. But I was determined to make it as written. I'd found the recipe on your blog and loved the way it was written. It wasn't one of those impersonal recipes, it was from Mother to Daughter and if you listened carefully you could hear the voice behind the words. I remember when we were in England last and drove through Alvechurch on a whim. We loved seeing the town you'd written about and it was easy to imagine you there. Though we've never met your mother, we'd seen her picture and when we saw the town we

Found Treasure

Note: Susan's brain is still oozing out of her ears but the good news is that it is March 31 and the renovations going on in the home she supervises are almost done. I'm hoping she's back next week for Fridays with Susan. I miss her and I know you do too, but you only have one brain and I don't want to push any more of hers out under the pressure of writing a blog post. :) By Belinda Cell group is about a lot of things and one of them is food; gathering around a table with friends who are like family  and having an old fashioned family dinner every week. I love creating the meal--nothing fancy--simple, tasty and plain, comfort food. Tonight 14 people sat around our two tables (and Susan arrived after everyone else had left, so that made 15) and somehow the 1.2kg of chicken that went into the yummy butter chicken, fed us all, well padded out by fragrant basmati rice, lots of cauliflower, peas and beans and crusty sliced Italian bread with butter. For dessert I