Showing posts from May, 2012

Brenda the Splendiferous

By Belinda The heat of the day hung gently in the sun porch this May evening. The garden beds are filled now with burgeoning blossoms. A white bridal wreath spirea vies with the deep pink flowering almond bushes and stately pale lavender and deep purple iris stand at attention around the bird bath.  I came out to the porch to study, but succumbed quickly to an irresistible pull to sleep. When I woke up Brenda was outside the sun porch window in purple checkered pajama bottoms and a turquoise fleece jacket, on a lawn chair; head bowed, blond hair falling forward over her face as she filed her toe nails, unaware of my presence nearby as I had the blinds pulled down low against the setting sun. Molson lay at her feet, ears alert, surveying the neighbourhood. I allowed myself the luxury of a gradual return to full wakefulness and then called a greeting. She turned in happy surprise, and, social being that she is, gathered up her manicure accoutrements and came inside to join me.

God Didn't Disappoint

By Belinda I got up this morning and came downstairs with such a sense of anticipation. With hair still wet from the shower, and a steaming cup of black coffee in hand, I sank into our soft golden leather couch and pulled out books from my lime green needle-cord book bag. Among other things that I read, I chose to read my favourite psalm: number 84! I read it slowly, enjoying the beauty of the very familiar words.  I noticed verse 5, which says: Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways of Zion. And I wondered what it means--to have a heart in which "are the  highways to Zion." All too soon I had to finish getting ready for church and put aside my pondering for the moment.  In church I thought about today being Pentecost Sunday, and about the wind and fire that came on the first Pentecost after Christ's death. Less welcome thoughts lurked like intruders at the edges of my consciousness, threatening distraction. The thoughts

A Song for Pentecost


Pentecost Anticipated

By Belinda Make me fruitful by living to that love, my character becoming more beautiful every day. If traces of Christ's love artistry be upon me, may he work on with his divine brush until the complete image be obtained and I be made a perfect copy of him, my Master Valley of Vision: The Love of Jesus, p.45 I am fast approaching my 62nd birthday and thinking of the fact, that if I do retire at 65, I will have 3 more years in my role at work. Such a short time--and yet the span of Christ's active ministry on earth. I feel the drawing of God to spend time waiting, listening, seeking to understand his call for the 36  precious   months that could fly by in a blur of outside pressures unless I am intentional and deliberate.  I want to follow his purpose and design, to fully step into the place he has made me for, whatever that is. I don't want to "put in time;" survive; meet deadlines or "get by." I long to make the difference God wants me to

An Impromptu Concert and a Sun Dappled Porch

By Belinda I love 4.30 on Fridays. Not because I get to go home from the office for the weekend, but because a kind of hush descends. Emails stop (actually some time before 4.30 they slow down from the rate of a racing heart on a monitor, to the slow blip, blip of the heart of someone in a deep resting state,) the phone is silent, and outside the streets grow strangely quiet.  Tonight, after a crazy busy and short week because it had a holiday Monday in it, I had more work than would fit into the time available--and another busy week ahead. So I called home to check in with Paul, and sank into the comfort of the quietness. Then I kept plugging away so that I could go home, if not with all my hoped for tasks done, at least with the prize of one or two things completed. Just before seven o'clock, as I was packing up to go, I heard organ music from the house above my office. It was beautiful. I stopped to listen. Someone who lives upstairs plays the piano, but surely this couldn

The Immersion Method

By Belinda Thou hast led me to place all my nature  and happiness in oneness with Christ, in having heart and mind centred only on him, in being like him in communicating good  to others; But I need the force, energy, impulses of thy Spirit to carry me on the way to my Jerusalem... The Valley of Vision; Christ Alone p.41 John 17:22-23 The Message (MSG)   20-23 I'm praying not only for them    But also for those who will believe in me    Because of them and their witness about me.    The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—    Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,    So they might be one heart and mind with us.    Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.    The same glory you gave me, I gave them,    So they'll be as unified and together as we are—    I in them and you in me.    Then they'll be mature in this oneness,    And give the godless world evidence    That you've sent me and loved them    In the same way you&
By Belinda  I was recently at  Banting Memorial High School  in Alliston and loved the art hanging on the walls in the hall where I was about to watch a play. It's been busy and I'm trying to get to bed earlier lately! So tonight I just want to share the work of some gifted students.

The Word Guild Leslie K. Tarr Award 2012

The Word Guild Leslie K. Tarr Award 2012 Media Release  and   This release is available as a downloadable Word document at   The Word Guild To Honour Outstanding Canadian World-Renowned Canadian Author, Philosopher, Theologian, and Humanitarian Jean Vanier to Receive 2012 Leslie K. Tarr Award for Career Achievement TORONTO - On June 13 The Word Guild will present the twenty-fourth annual  Leslie K. Tarr Award  to Jean Vanier, 83, the son of Canada's 19 th  Governor General, Major General Georges P. Vanier,  and  a Companion of the Order of Canada.         Named in honour of its first recipient, the late Leslie K. Tarr - a journalist, editor, and teacher - the award celebrates a major career contribution to Christian writing and publishing in Canada.  Previous recipients include award-winning children's author Jean Little, two-time Governor General's Litera

Susan's Favourite Things

By Belinda Susan's favourite things were hidden away in the comment box. Readers here haven't heard from her for a while, and I knew you would enjoy reading about her own unique favourites as much as I did. :) Here they are: 1. Favourite comfort food: Chocolate. No contest. 2. Favourite piece of jewellry: My mom's wedding ring, but it's way too small for me to wear it - or I would! I'm thinking of having it made into a necklace... 3. Favourite movie of all time: There are LOTS of close seconds, but I think "Lassie Come Home" has the slight edge - such enduring love, and a happy ending - what's not to love? My first dog was a collie. It was a male which meant we couldn't call it "Lassie" but I insisted on "Laddie" as the next best thing. (At least that's how I feel this week. A different movie could be remembered as my favourite next week.) 4. Favourite television theme song: Gilmore Girls. "Where You Lead" by Ca
By Belinda  My friend Janet Sketchley posted this song on her blog  God With Us:Finding Joy , last week. I LOVE Peter Furler and love this song, which I hadn't heard before.  Th e lyrics say it all--and they are on the video clip, written so that you will not miss them.

Just for Fun

My dear friend Dave wrote a post entitled   Julie Andrews Take Note  in which he shared a few of his favourite things.  He invited readers to do so too, and link back to his post. So here goes. If you join in too, please link back here, or share your favourite things in the comment section: 1)Favourite Comfort Food: I LOVE homemade macaroni and cheese, made with a proper homemade sauce, topped with tomatoes and buttered toasted breadcrumbs. This is so high calorie that I rarely make it but I think I feel an attack of macaroni-itis coming on! Maybe for this Thursday's cell group--that way I get to share it and will not be tempted to eat it all. :) 2)Favourite Piece of Jewelery: It's a silver necklace that my mum's mother bought for her when she was young, so it is probably about 65 years old. The small pendant of cut glass set in silver, changes colour from mauve to aqua blue, depending on the temperature (I think.) I wear it most of the time. I once lost it and was deva

Moments in Time

By Belinda I got lost in old photographs this evening. I found these when I was in Alvechurch in March.  I'm so thankful for photographs. I have many albums upstairs in the loft room, but in 2006 I went digital and started saving photos in Picasa albums.  It was so good to look at photos of my Alvechurch visits over the past 6 years. I have the photos on my laptop and even some short video clips. How precious they are, and how wonderful it was to retrace those wonderful moments. Time goes by so quickly. These photos are from the 1950's and 1960's and even those moments seem like only yesterday. In the top one I think I was three. In the second about ten and in the third fifteen--a mere 47 years ago!:)

Celebration; but No Gloating Please!

By Belinda  When I returned from our January visit to England I wrote a series of posts on a situation that I ended up in the middle of. It had felt rather like finding myself in an episode of The Twilight Zone --Rod Serling's anthology series, in which ordinary folks suddenly found themselves in extraordinary situations. I was into science fiction as a teenager and used to love the eerie story lines of episodes of The Twilight Zone, in which a bizarre and ironic form of justice always seemed to be dished out very satisfactorily in the end! For those who didn't read the posts at the time and are interested in catching up, the links are below. Unlike an episode of The Twilight Zone though, this situation looked pretty hopeless: Close Quarters Part One   Close Quarters Part Two   A Quick Update   The Gathering Protest The Saga of the the Stones Continues Mum became ill in February and when I went back to England for her funeral in March, something related to this stor

Wild Words and Dandelions

By Belinda The lawns in town, including ours, look like the face of a grizzled old man who hasn't shaved for several days. That's what the long stalked, gone-to-seed dandelions, reminded me of this morning! Yes, that is a suitably unkempt image. But I was thinking of other things besides the wild lawns of Bond Head as I drove to work. I was thinking of conversations gone equally wild.  You see, our cell group finally finished our study on the book, Holy Conversation  and we almost missed an article tucked away, right at the back, almost as a little extra: Holy Conversation The Lost Art of Witness . Someone suggested we read it, and when we did, we spent the evening discussing it (if you're interested, you can find it by clicking the link.) The article talked about the four factors of genuine conversation, quoting Australian lecturer in practical theology, Geoff Broughton . The factors are: mutuality, reciprocity, openness and respect. Richard Peace, the author of

In Celebration of Friends

By Belinda  (Who has a very early start tomorrow morning and therefore is recycling a post from the past!)  "Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow-ripening fruit." Aristotle I have been enjoying a book on CD entitled  The Art of Friendship, 70 Simple Rules for Making Meaningful Connections,  by Roger Horchow and Sally Horchow. In Malcolm Gladwell's,  The Tipping Point,  which I listened to last month, he mentioned Roger Horchow, the founder of The Horchow Collection, the first luxury mail-order-only retailer, and a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer, as an excellent example of a group of people he called "connectors." Roger is a master at maintaining a high number of relationships. In  The Art of Friendship,  Roger says, "Life is too short to spend it paddling around in shallow waters." I agree! To me, friendship is an endless voyage of discovery, an exploration of uncharted lands. There is no end to the pleasure t

For the Lost Boys

Note by Belinda At our writers group meeting on Tuesday, Susan Starrett, shared a powerfully written piece of slam poetry that she wrote, on a video that is now on You Tube. It tackles the topic of the sexual abuse.

The Story of Ian and Larissa

Note by Belinda This video was posted on my friend Jenna Wickens' Face Book page; originally from  . It gives Love a whole new dimension to consider. The story is entitled, "This Momentary Marriage." So much to consider in this story.

A Cord Ingly

Last Tuesday  at work , a few of us had lunch together in a restaurant, to celebrate the birthday of someone on my team.  As the menus were handed out, I didn't have to fish about in my purse looking for reading glasses. No--they were nestled handily, midway between my chin and chest on the cord I had bought the day before . I pointed it out to my co-workers, with both enthusiasm at the convenience, and chagrin at needing one. The two guys on our team were now deep in "guy talk," seemingly oblivious, while the ladies at the table educated me. Apparently there are cords and there are cords.   Mine kind of looked like a black shoe lace with loops at the end, but I learned that they can actually be accessories and came beaded, or as necklaces with little key ring things dangling from them on which you can hang your glasses. Wow, I had no idea.  As the possibilities expanded I made a mental note: "Go buy a better cord." Ah, the power of advertising! But m

Mum's Obituary

Rob told me last Saturday that Mum's obituary, written by Rev. David Martin, rector of St. Laurence Church, Alvechurch, had appeared in the May edition of The Grapevine. T he church newsletter   is delivered to all homes in Alvechurch . PIETERNELLA KAATJE JANNY CATER A lady who was born in Holland and moved to Alvechurch in 1959 died on 6 March at the age of 85. Pieternella Kaatje Janny Cater was one of eight children born into a family in Rotterdam, Holland during the Second World War.  Three of her siblings survive. Her childhood was spent in war-torn Holland, but, in 1947, she came to England and met her husband-to-be, Chris, at Speakers Corner, Hyde Park.  They married in 1948 and shared fifty-five years together until his death in 2003. She was the mother of two children – Belinda and Robert – grandmother to four – John, Tim, Peter and Brenda – and great-grandmother to six – Katherine, Stephen, Joshua, Emily, Tiffany and Victoria. Having worked as a typis

What Really Matters

By Belinda It was just over a week since the last meeting of the Anger Management-Peace Like a River Group . The  stormy weather  upstairs, that led to the founding of the group seemed much more settled.  One of the group members asked yesterday morning, when were we going to meet again, and if the book  (recommended by our friend Dave)  had arrived yet. I said it hadn't, but I was sure it would be here soon and we'd meet then.  But as I moved something in the piles around my desk yesterday; as if it were meant to be; from somewhere they had been hiding unseen for several months, and so long that I had forgotten them, I found pages from a training, that happened to be about extreme behaviour.  The pages were an Anger Diary and Inventory--perfect tools to spark a discussion at more than one session.  So this morning as soon as I arrived at work, I went upstairs, knocked on the door, interrupting a fine breakfast of French toast; with an invitation that was accepted; to m

Getting from "Here" to "There"

By Belinda One of the books I'm reading at the moment is, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)  by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson. The book is recommended reading for a course I am taking on Conflict Mediation. The authors had me at the title (and the sub-title: "Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts.) So far into the book I am convinced--we all have blind spots and are adept only at spotting those of others. In fact, the chapter I am currently reading starts out by quoting Matthew 7:3 to illustrate this point: Matthew 7:3 New King James Version (NKJV) 3  And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? The trouble is that all too often I read the Bible as though it is a collection of stories, about "someone else," (those handily self righteous Pharisees,) rather than turning the searchlight onto my own heart; asking the hard questions of myself. In my course we learn