Friday, 29 October 2010

Shine Your Light - This Sunday

Only a couple of days until our 4th annual Shine Your Light event.  The candy packs are ready, the hot chocolate is bought, the worship team is all practiced up and we will decorate the house this weekend.  Last year, we had hundreds of people come by to take in the music and have some fun.  The weatherman says this year we will have a clear, crisp night so we are praying that even more people will stop by this year.  This event would never happen if it wasn't for the people in our home church.  They work tirelessly each year to make sure all the families in our neighbourhood have a great time.  Maybe I am a little nostalgic, because this will be our last Shine Your Light event in this community or maybe I am just a softy but as we sat last night to make up mountains of candy bags, I could not help but feel incredibly blessed to call these people my friends.  Thank-you Jeff, Rachel, Bev, Will, Beth, Shelly, Patrick, Taylar, Liz, and Grant.  This journey called life wouldn't be as much fun without you all!  I can't wait to see all of your costumes.  Yes, Liz and Grant I expect to see you on Skype and in full gear! 

If you have never been to our house for this event and you live in these parts come on out! The worship team starts playing when the first little kids come down the street!  If you want to know more information about Shine Your Light take a look at last years post about the event.

"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16
Kimberley and Trinity Joy at Shine Your Light 2009

Wednesday, 27 October 2010


Fall brings changes in the God's creation around us, and this year it also brings some big changes for our family.  Over the past year, God has been quietly stirring in our hearts.  It has been a stirring that I have resisted, because I like my comfort and I am afraid of change, but God has been patient with me.  He has also been persistent.  Again and again, when I have least expected it, He has been changing my heart, opening my eyes to things I have not seen before, compelling me to think about the way Jesus lived when He walked on earth among us.  Challenging me to engage with those He loves, those who are not engaged by even our non-traditional church, by our traditions and/or rituals.   Those who know the Jesus that others have represented but have never read scripture to discover how Jesus represents himself.  God has been placing another another community on hearts.  One that is not where we currently live and so a couple of Sunday's ago Jason told our church family that God is calling us away from our current church, to plant another work in a different town.  Actually, it is not a town at all but a city and in the spring we put our house up for sale and begin to look for a new house in downtown Hamilton.

I have never lived in a city.  I have been a burbs girl all my life so this will be a big change.  Hamilton is currently trying to revitalize itself and re-brand from years of being a steel town to a music and art powerhouse. But it is not there yet and is still home to some of our countries poorest neighbourhoods and toughest streets.   I am not sure what to expect, or how God will work out all the details (and I have identified a lot of them that need to be worked out in order for this to work) but my heart is ready and willing to go.  It is a step of faith that is exciting, terrifying and not without the heartache of leaving the comfort of family and friends that are like family.  It is a lot of change for this suburban gal but I am trusting that just like the change of fall God knows all the intricate details and has it all under control.

I am sure over the next little while,  I will posting more about our big move and the new work but if you would like to see the announcement in our  Sanctuary Milton's Partnership Newsletter please clink on the link.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

That All Men May Know His Works

Last week, we took our kids into Toronto on a field trip.  We have a family pass for the Royal Ontario Museum and we decided to spend some time exploring.  If you live near city and you have never been to the ROM it is a fantastic place.  I, for one, could spend endless days looking and reading and being amazed.  
That All Men May Know His Works inspired by Job 37:7
There is a beautiful section in the museum that has always attracted my eye.  The Rotunda used to be above the main entrance to the museum before the latest massive renovations.  It is stunningly gorgeous and in looking into the ROM's history I have discovered some interesting facts about it's origin.  The ROM actual website describes it's history.

"Charles T. Currelly, the first director of the Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology, conceived of this mosaic introduction for the 1933 addition. The mosaic ceiling was designed to reflect the breadth of the collections, being adorned with patterns and symbols representing cultures throughout the ages and around the world.  The ceiling is made from thousands of sheets of imported Venetian glass, cut into more than a million tiny coloured squares. A team of skilled workers laboured for eight months to install the ceiling.  Its sparkling gold, rust and bronze background is inset with red, blue and turquoise patterns, recalling the magnificent mosaics of the Byzantine world and Eastern Europe. Worked out on the golden field are geometrical borders and panels which frame decorative floral designs. The central panel is inscribed with a passage from the Book of Job in the Old Testament: “That all men may know His work”.

In 1876, Charles T Currelly was born in Exeter, Ontario.  He, is credited more than anyone else, for the art and archeology collections that now make up the ROM.  It says on the website that he believed museums had an educational purpose to display the material achievements of humanity so as to inspire the present day.  It was his idea to build the rotunda and I think this incredible piece of artwork gives us insight into the source of his dedication.   It speaks to the beliefs of this man that the material achievements of man no matter how great or small are all results of "His work", God's craftsmanship, and should be displayed so others may know.  It is a good reminder of what the focus should be on in our good works and where the honour, praise and recognition should always be laid.

Charles T. Currelly
Not long before his death in 1957, Charles penned his autobiography.   I Brought the Ages Home, is billed as the intriguing story of how a boy born in southwestern Ontario and trained for the ministry became one of Canada's great archaeological pioneers and museum-builders-nothing less than a homegrown Indiana Jones.  I haven't read it yet but I think I will have to try to find it at our Library.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Scaredy Squirrel - A Book

I wasn't sure what book to write about first.  I love so many, so it was hard to choose.  But I decided on a book with one of my favourite literary characters,  Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watts.  Melanie, is a celebrated children's author and a Canadian girl from Quebec.  She is fantastically creative, and I have read most of her books.  You may think of this picture book, as just as kids book, but it is secretly the best book you can give to an adult!  Who else other than adults know what a scary place the world can be!  It is a must have for all A type personalities, that feel the need to plan out every inch of their life.  Can you tell I have some experience in this department?

This book is filled with humour from beginning to end and has often had my kids and I laughing out loud, even though we have read it several hundred times.  It is like an owner's manual for worrywarts, that gives step by step instructions on how to eventually seize the day!  The illustrations are a hit with kids young and old.   And the book has useful tips on what to do if you come face to face with a potential biter, which is useful information, no matter what stage of life you find yourself.  Whether you five and in kindergarten, or forty-five and work in the financial district, there is always a potential biter that you might need to deal with!  You know I am right!

The story in a nutshell: Scaredy Squirrel is petrified of the ‘unknown,’ which means anything outside of his nut tree.  He prepares himself for the worst always, and has a plan A and plan B and even a plan C in case of emergency.  If danger threatens, his emergency kit includes antibacterial soap, Band-Aids and a parachute. But, when Scaredy Squirrel suddenly finds himself out of his tree, he discovers something about himself that he never knew.  The adventures of this tightly wound squirrel who is perpetually pushed out of his comfort zone will be a hit with young and the not so young!  So head to your local library, and borrow Scaredy’s adventure today. Learn why although it is good practice to always avoid germs, pirates and walruses, you may need to risk those dangers to come face to face with the greatest adventure of all!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


I like to read.  In fact, I love to read.  I like books, real books that I can hold in my hand and curl up with on the couch or in a chair.  I know I am old fashioned.  No Kindle yet for this girl.  I read a lot.  On average I probably finish at least one book a week if not two.  I have been known to stay up way past my bedtime to read just one or two or three more chapters.   I read for myself but I also read to our kids.  You can often find us hanging out together at the end of the day and I am reading all four kids a chapter from the latest book that we are reading.   It is fun to share books together as a family, to go on adventures without even leaving our family room, to have discussions about things that have happened in history and to hear your kids beg, "Oh one more chapter Mom please!".  So I thought I would start to share with you some of the books I read.  You may even see another post later today....or if life gets crazy sometime soon.  Some will be books I read myself and some will be books that I am sharing with the kids.  Some will be books by christian authors and some won't.  I get most of our books from our local library.  I love libraries, but that is another post.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Just after I posted last,  our family left on vacation  for two weeks.  We had a fabulous time but re-entry
into every day life has been rough and the days have flown by without time for me to write.  Our vacation was a much needed time of rest and we just spent it together as a family.  One of the things I love about living in Southern Ontario, is that we don't have to travel very far to get away from it all.   So we hitched up our tent trailer and headed about five hours north. 

We landed at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park. We chose this park because we studied Voyageurs this year for Canadian History, and this park has a museum devoted to voyageurs, some fabulous programs and a Voyageur canoe trip.  So we thought that this would be a fabulous way to end off our study.  We were right.  We could not have asked for a better trip.  The park is slightly east of North Bay and about 10 kilometers from a small town called Mattawa.  After a great drive, through northern Ontario, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, we finally arrived at our campsite.    Our site was fabulous and once we got set up, (which took some maneuvering), we decided to explore the park.  The park itself was fairly quiet, as many people seemed to headed out as we were headed in!  This was a nice bonus and no one was camped near us so our campsite was even more private then we expected.  With just forest behind us, it was only a two minute walk to the beach and the lake.  The kids had fun playing on teeter totters,  swings and skipping stones into the water.

The kid's tree pose and Daniel's falling tree!

Looking at clams in the lake

Daniel skipping stones
Beautiful Moore Lake

TJ at the park

Our days at this beautiful provincial park were spent exploring God's beautiful creation.  There were wonders everywhere.  Incredible birds like wood peckers, spunky nuthatches, loons and soaring vultures.  There were wonderful fauna and flowers and towering pine trees that were so straight and tall that they reached up into the misty clouds of the morning.  Our hikes were awe inspiring although I was terrified on one but that is story for another day.  Let's just say I did not think a "moderate" hike would include sheer drops, where I could loose my children or myself off the side of the trail! 

The kids halfway up a very steep cliff!

Taking a rest - Guinness and I needed a lot of them.

Frogs were everywhere at this hidden lake
Mushrooms and Fungus we learned so much about them
Life on the forest floor

Roots so strong they pulled up boulders
Finally, the our Voyageur Canoe trip had arrived!  It was just our family who signed up for the adventure and what an adventure it was.  Our brave French Canadian guides Pierre and Robert met us at Long Lake and the fun began with Voyageur games.  Then we were not allowed to board the canoe without getting on our time period outfits.  Once we were dressed we off to sign french songs, learn about trading beaver pelts and experience just a taste of what life would have been like at this important time in Canadian history.

Our Replica Voyageur Canoe

Voyageur Games

More Games

See Jason you look good in flowered shirts!

A beaver dam

TJ paddling hard!

On our trip

Learning how many beaver pelts to trade for fishing hooks

Stunning scenery
We made it!  Liam showing off his muscles!

We were sad to have to leave this beautiful park but we have some fabulous memories......

Who knew doing dishes could be so exciting

Caroline helping out

Our home away from home

Daniel fishing

A touch of beauty

TJ down by the river

Where are all the fish?

Any bites?

This picture doesn't do it justice as this glistening river was stunning and I will remember it's sparkle!