Monthly Archives: November 2003


Tonight we are going out to supper with a Muslim couple.  It is Ramadan so we will wait till after sunset and then prayers.  We are fortunate the sun sets so early here in northern Saskatchewan!  The couple are friends and collegues.  They have recently moved to Ontario but returned to visit another collegue whom they worked with in Carrot River.  He is dieing of cancer of the pancreas and our friend wanted to come back and visit him one more time before he dies.  Love does not restrict itself to the Christian faith. 

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Blessed Are…

In our group of women studying Yancy’s book The Jesus I Never Knew we were discussing the chapter entitled ” Beatitudes: Lucky Are the Unlucky”  There is a lot to discuss in that chapter so we did go on a rather long time. 

One of the examples cited by Yancy in this chapter is the story of Henri Nouwen and Adam as a living out of the parable “Blessed are the merciful”  Nouwen cares for the severely handicapped Adam, showing incredible mercy, something few of us felt we could accomplish in the same circumstances.  I guess few of us will ever be called to that kind of ministry, yet, we have people God puts in our lives that we care for simply because we love them.  We do this for our children and they can return very little to us that compensates us for our efforts.  Still we love them and continue to care and provide for them simply because we love them.  And God does this for us as well.  He simply loves us because we are his creatures, not because we can ever repay him by our behaviour or intelligence.  He shows us incredible mercy.  This is kind of a circular truth – if we show mercy we will be shown mercy.  God has already been merciful to us and that alone should compell us to be merciful in turn.

We also got off on a bit of a digression but it took us in an interesting direction.  We shared how we felt that Nouwen must have had a sense of calling to serve in a place like Daybreak.  That took us into the question of how to discern if a decision to do some type of service or work is a response to a “call” or simply doing a job.  We could see where there are people who have definate calls and others who are simply doing a job.  Not that those who are doing jobs with no particular sense of call are not doing the right thing.  Just that not everyone is called by God in this way. 

And then we shared our various concerns about our lives – especially as we face decisions regarding jobs and changes in that aspect of our lives.  We had a good sharing time and it is good to know that we can pray and are praying for each other.   

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Blogging With the Baby

Tonight I have a very special job.  This is the first time I have gotten to babysit Kieran.  He sits on my knee and is trying to help me with the typing.  Actually we are back to the hunt and peck method since he has to be held fairly firmly as he wobbles around a bit still. 

He woke up hollering a few minutes ago and I think he is in need of some nourishment or a change of diaper.  If it’s not one end it is usually the other!

Well that seems to be taken care of – he was hungry.  !!!!! Oh No!!!!  I hear some nasty noises coming from the other end.  And a funny smell!  I think I still remember what that means!  Talk to you guys later.


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Preparing for Prayer

We have been thinking about the transendance of God in our worship gatherings.  It seems that a lot of other pople are also thinking along the same lines.  I found a couple interesting articles/blogs here and over at Ancient Future Worship

I think that it would be very hard to enter into prayer without a sense of the transcendance of God.  Maybe that is why so many people say they do not know how to pray or experience difficulty spending time with God.  Prayer needs to be more than just reciting off a list of wants and wishes and even more than just reciting words of praise.  I need to be able to sit in his presence and have him speak to me and then comes this tremendous sense of awe that God “is”, that he is present with us, that he cares. 

The use of liturgical forms helps me to focus on God’s presence.  Sometimes they are an act of worship in themselves and it removes the focus from me and what my mind is doing to an outside object or act that assists me to contemplate God.  And somehow the liturgy, the lighting of a candle, the reading of a Psalm or a prayer carves out a bit of sacred space from the busyness of my ordinary routines more than a rushed prayer as I drive between kids activities or go from patient to patient at work.

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Yesterday I got to see most of my kids and at least talk to all of them.  I don’t usually do a lot of checking up on them but it seems they know how to find me when they need me. 

My daughter called me a few times from Saskatoon – she is still having problems with student loans although she did receive an educational grant the will allow her to get he study assistance she needs.  And she found a cheaper place to rent where she will be by herself and won’t have to worry about roommates doing crazy things.

I did the usual driving with my younger daughters after work – to and from activities and to the movies to see the latest Matrix movie.  Then to sleepovers.

Christian I saw as he came in and went out.  He was off to a David Usher concert and then out with his friends.  He stopped long enough to ask if I could drive him to work today since his car is getting repaired.

Dave and Annette came over and worked on their slide presentation for their wedding next weekend.  We went over what we all have to get done today as we prepare for that.  I hope I don’t have an exhausted daughter-in-law. 

And then I had to call Patrick about the forms that he hs to fill out for his ID card since he is a landed immigrant and will need to travel next summer.  He and Christian will need it to get back into Canada.  New rules!

And then Eric called.  This is why.  

He was hunting just north of town and was at his mother-in-laws farm.  They had no camera and he had just gotten a nice large deer.  He has to have pictures to send back to his hunting friends in Africa.  Does a hunter hunt for meat or for glory?  They will have lots of venison for the winter and he promised me some deer sausage (if I pay to have it made). 

And I am on call and having another spouseless week-end.  Leo is away trying to supplement the family coffers at a neighboring town where the doctors need coverage so they can get away for a weekend.

And I just got called so will have to work for awhile this afternoon. 

It’s going to be a busy day again.

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Helping Each Other Out

This was quite a day.  I got to the office to pick up our tubs of stuff for the OR and to pick up my two staff people going along to assist.  I really didn’t expect to see Judy since I knew she was pretty sick.  But in she came and off we headed to the hospital.  We had a good anaesthetist today – this guy has a good sense of humor and he listens to the radio and drinks coffee while we work.  I guess he is working too but our hands are busy and so drinking coffee is out except for the breaks between cases. 

It is really incredible how much difference it makes working with someone who has a good sense of humor.  Everyone works more efficiently and the day has a lightness to it.  It is fun to work with someone like this.

Then we went back to the office and sent Judy home.  She probably shouldn’t have come in the morning, but she is such a conscientious person and she knew that I needed her help.  She went home, Trina was there today so she helped me get my afternoon patients done and Michelle who is about 7 months pregnant became exhausted – she has been working alone for most of the week with my partner since Trina’s kids were sick.  At the point where Michelle was about losing it from exhaustion, our hygienist pitched in and helped the others clean up operatories and even assisted me for a few minutes.  At the point where we all could have lost it, everyone there came through and pitched in.  We made it to the end of the day in one piece and all of our patients got the treatment they needed.  A couple of extra special sick and tired people got flowers today and they deserved them!

The one thing that struck me was that I have several staff members that I know are “evangelical” Christians.  Sometimes they are not there when they could really help out.  I know there is a fine line that is hard to walk when it comes to how one spends their off time – family or helping out a co-worker who is really too sick to work.  I don’t feel that I as the employer can insist that they give up a day off but I think that the other worker would have given up her day off if the other assistant had been too sick for something as important as a morning in the OR. She actually has done some changing of plans in the past tto do just that.  Going the extra mile for a co-worker can be a tangible example of love and friendship.  Self interest put first sure can destroy a relationship.  I think the assistant that came in today giving so much both to me and to the kids that we were able to treat is showing more of Christ’s type of love than the “evangelical “one. 


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As I write, my car is waming up.  It’s -22 C out there this morning.  Makes one want to curl back up under the covers and ignore those kids waiting at the hospital.  Well, I won’t have to worry about my lunch spoiling in the car while it sits there this morning.  And as I heard this am on CBC – there are no mosquitos!

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