Peacock Update

Well, the two of them are still here and we found their owners. A neighbour recently got them, but they lasted only a night or two before the Peacock headed out southbound, in the direction of their old home. Until they arrived here. They seem to like it here and as the neighbour said, they can settle quickly on a piece of land they like.

So the poor neighbour has been here trying to net them and catch them and now, trying to trap them. The most awesome flying I've ever seen by a Peacock was when that huge bird was being chased by the neighbour with a net, and flew off the ground up to the top of a 30 foot evergreen tree.

I captured his graceful fall:



They are quite interesting birds. We don't feed them or water them and still they remain.

The Peahen follows close behind where ever the Peacock is heading, and they hide together in the tall grass, and sleep together in the tree branches, and they wake up Micah together at his basement room window:

Hers and His

Which was pretty funny on the first morning it happened.

They do seem to like looking in the family room windows downstairs and will startle us while we are down there.

It's been fun to watch them, but one day soon they will be caught and moved back home.

In the mean time, we're trying not to give them names.

:)


Life in the Field.

THERE ARE PEACOCKS IN OUR YARD!!

I mean how far off a flight path do you need to go to land in a field in Alberta?

Shocking surprise to see a pair of those large birds walking past the window.

IMG_8992

A Family Update

This past weekend saw the family get together like it may not again for some time. Johanna and Nate and little Norah flew in. Hillary came with my mom and sister from Saskatoon. Thomas drove in from Calgary, and Lauralea's mom came to meet the baby as well. That was eleven of us in the house, and it worked pretty well.

The Whole Family. May 22, 2011

These bigger, older people have always been a small part of the blog here, and if you ever click on the tags on the side there, the "The Locals" tag will always bring up the posts that included them in some way. These days that tag is rarely used.

Johanna and Nate are doing well out on the coast. I personally think they were made for each other and its fun to watch them change for the better as they grow together. And they make great babies. I am kind of surprised at how well Johanna has taken to motherhood. She seems to take to it like a duck to water. And Nate is just an awesome dad to little Norah. So far the in-laws are a great blessing.

Hillary graduated from college this spring and is looking for a short term job in Saskatoon right now. (Anybody have one??) This autumn she is scheduled to fly out to England where she will be working and serving in a spiritual community for a year.

Thomas is living in Calgary in our church Life Together community house. He's just been promoted at the place he works and loves it there. He's also enrolled in a certificate program for Spiritual Direction out of a college down in the mainland in BC.

Micah just passed his driver training program and is in grade eleven here in the local town. In a month he's heading to Haiti with our church missions trip, then he's off to counsel at camp for the summer. Next year grade 12, and then...?


And then it's herself and me, again.

It's an interesting time of life now with the kids taking on their own lives, and making big bold decisions about who they want to be and what they want to do with these lives we've been able to give them. They make it easy to be proud of each of them, and so we are.

The world will be a better place because they are out there.

:)

So the world's going to end this Saturday at 6pm, local time.

Mr. Harold Camping has been stirring up a bit of a storm for some time now with his predictions that the Rapture of the Saints will take place this Saturday, May 21, 2011.

You remember Mr. Camping right? He wrote in 1992; “The results of this study indicate that the month of September of the year 1994 is to be the time for the end of history” (1994?, New York: Vantage Press, p. 531).

Yes, his original numbers were a bit off and rather than let that humble him and cause him to be still and quit stirring up trouble, he's at it again.
There’s a lot of information that looks at the probability of 6 pm in any city in the world–when that great earthquake will occur. It could be that it might be just one great earthquake, but there is enough evidence in the Bible that says it will begin at one point in the world, and it could be at 6 pm—that’s a great possibility. Then as it gets to be May 21 in any other country—there will be a great earthquake there.
But we know absolutely, without any shadow of a doubt, that May 21 will be the day.

I've been watching him for many years now, kind of amazed at his presumptions about scripture. And I have to say that I really wish he wouldn't do these irresponsible things.

There are people who really believe with all their hearts what he is saying, so they give away their earthly goods, or quit their jobs in a blaze of glory. Then they wake up the day after with their hope demolished, with no place to live and no job to go back to. I understand that as a result some have even taken their own lives.


In a way he belittles belief in God by making it a mockery. He becomes an offence to the gospel, rather than letting the Cross be the offence. People push against God because of him, and it gives them an excuse to push, rather than letting them be offended by the claims of the cross on their lives.

The real difficulty is that as foolishly as he stands before the world claiming "...we know absolutely, without any shadow of a doubt, that May 21 will be the day," and as foolish as he makes faith look to the world, the fact is that there will be a day and a time when the end of things as we know them, will come. We just don't know when.


Jesus tells us a bit about it:
36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.      Matthew 24


Even Jesus doesn't know the time it will happen, so he gives us good words to live by.
He says, live ready.

Live ready to go. At any time. Be ready.
That's the wisdom. Live your life ready to go at anytime.

Possibly even this Saturday at 6pm.

Sweet day in the morning, Blackwood the younger has arrived to complete the first cutting of the church grass.

Deep gratitude now as I sit down to get ready for the youth arriving at the church shortly, because the grass was getting so long that I feared we may need to bale the swaths of grass clippings. I was already starting to think through how I could get my 14" wide electric mower out there to start doing some damage to the very damp lawn.

Most of the guys with the heavy duty lawn equipment are out seeding day and night right now, so I wasn't going to disturb them. Thankfully Shaun has arrived to fight the mosquitos and the long damp grass.

Now what can I offer him as a thank you gift, a church pen maybe, some stationary with the church name on it perhaps...

It happens to everyone, right?

I mean it can happen to carpet cleaners or farmers or car detailers right? It could happen to stay at home moms or students or ditch diggers or plumbers. It can even happen to car salesmen, right? Ok well maybe not them.

But it can happen to pastors. This feeling of, heaviness or despair or just tiredness at the work you do.

It's been here about a week, but I saw it growing a bit before that, now that I have some hindsight. Just a tiredness at the work I guess. A heavy plodding work that can feel like trying to shovel water up a hill, like no reasonable end is in sight.

When that happens, and yes it happens occasionally, I hunker down and plod forward, keeping moving, keeping doing the things I know to do in hopes that the shear momentum will carry me through the rough patch. I get really narrow in my perspective and I reserve my precious little energy for the work that I do. That usually means the family isn't in my view at all. Oh they are there, to my left and right, but I don't interact with them as much. Different distractions or extra reading is set aside, also to save energy.

As it begins to happen to me, I'm usually unaware of the heaviness. Sometimes it's just an ongoing sadness or I notice that it takes me longer than it should to do a regular task. Then somewhere in the heaviness and hard going, I shift into plodding mode and begin to conserve energy. I don't notice that my family notices, and I can't give it words yet, because I suppose I'm still involved in the action of fighting it. But then something will happen like herself tries harder than she normally does to get me to eat first thing in the morning, or someone will buy me a cherry Dr. Pepper, and I see concern.

It happens occasionally, and it has happened now and then in my past, but I've always been able to eventually get past it, or to get better. Is it tiredness or perhaps depression? I haven't wanted to name it that because I work with people who fight daily with ongoing depression and I'll tell you I take my hat off to them because it's a hard life. I understand that. If I had to face this x 20 every day I'm not sure how I would ever make it through. I think it's one of the reasons I really feel for those lost in the darkness of depression, because I've tasted it, and it is one bitter pill to swallow.

Yet in the midst of this weakness or just toughness of these days, there is grace from outside me that shows up in an honest conversation or phone call that energizes me like I haven't known for a while. It's an external something, life maybe that begins to course through my veins and opens my view and my world gets big again if even just for the moment.


Yes I take steps to care for myself, and if history proves itself again, I will emerge from this season one day soon. But maybe it's enough for today to own it, and name it in a whisper, and be thankful that at least I can see it for what it is.

And maybe tomorrow will be better.

Not Understood - By Thomas Bracken


Not Understood

Not understood, we move along asunder;
Our paths grow wider as the seasons creep
Along the years; we marvel and we wonder
Why life is life, and then we fall asleep
Not understood.


Not understood, we gather false impressions
And hug them closer as the years go by;
Till virtues often seem to us transgressions;
And thus men rise and fall, and live and die
Not understood.


Not understood! Poor souls with stunted vision
Oft measure giants with their narrow gauge;
The poisoned shafts of falsehood and derision
Are oft impelled 'gainst those who mould the age,
Not understood.


Not understood! The secret springs of action
Which lie beneath the surface and the show,
Are disregarded; with self-satisfaction
We judge our neighbours, and they often go
Not understood.


Not understood! How trifles often change us!
The thoughtless sentence and the fancied slight
Destroy long years of friendship, and estrange us,
And on our souls there falls a freezing blight;
Not understood.


Not understood! How many breasts are aching
For lack of sympathy! Ah! day by day
How many cheerless, lonely hearts are breaking!
How many noble spirits pass away,
Not understood.


O God! that men would see a little clearer,
Or judge less harshly where they cannot see!
O God! that men would draw a little nearer
To one another, -- they'd be nearer Thee,
And understood


By Thomas Bracken



Happy Birthday Cookie Micah

Micah's 17th Birthday

Two out of three traps sprung. Not a bad night on the trapline.

So in an effort to minimize the local rodent population around our house, and by "around our house" I should clarify that they are outside our home and not presently residing inside, I have set up a series of mouse traps.

The motivation began when I started walking outdoors around the house last week and was shaking loose random field mice as I walked in the grass. Then there was one little fellow who took to startling me every time I walked to the office down the gravel path I routinely take. All of a sudden the grass would shake, the gravel would be disturbed, and the little fellow would race into the small culvert beneath the walk.

So yesterday I undertook the placement of one trap inside the garage and three on the outside, by doors etc.
Of the three outside traps, as of this morning two were sprung. One had a nice rodent in its trap, while the other one was four feet away from where it had been set, and the trap was effectively destroyed. The guys at prayer time this morning thought probably a mouse had been caught in it and then a coyote came and tore the snack from the trap. They did seem loud and close last night. (The coyotes I mean, not the guys.) The one remaining trap has a nice piece of chocolate still waiting for some action.

So it seems I have effectively set up a trap line and if I had any intestinal courage I would be tempted to skin the one caught mouse and put his hide up on display for any and all rodents to take notice of and pack their bags and move to southern climes.

As it is I'm not sure I have the whatsit to daily empty traps that have snapped their prey almost in half.

But hey, it's a tough life out here in the field.
Time to man up.

I remembered when he asked me about lunch tomorrow

I remembered that it's Micah's birthday tomorrow and he turns, gulp, 17.

He's the last of em, children I mean, and he's heading full steam ahead into the future. Since tomorrow is his birthday, I'll buy him lunch, like I've always done for all the kids on their special day. It was always another way to connect with them a bit, as a dad.

For tomorrow it sounds like Pizza Hut, so I hope they have lunch specials on because the timing might be a little tight, back to school wise.

One of these days a post is in order about how much life changes when kids are leaving the nest. It's a time you look forward to, and get them ready for, and then it comes and you are left sort of trying to remember all those things you were planing to do when they were off, but you can't remember.

Yeah, another day. As for tomorrow, it's Happy Birthday Micah Day.