Archive for December, 2011

Happy 50th Birthday!!

December 20, 2011

If you’re looking for someone to hike with, talk to, and learn from, Papa’s your man. Papa is a real man, clean and honest and strong.  He loves to laugh at life’s funny moments; loves to catch the glimmer of light in the darkest trial; loves to watch the sun rise above the mountains and the grass wave in the wind. Years of seeking God and savoring God’s mercies have given Papa a solid foundation in God’s sovereignty and a refreshing outlook on life.

Papa is a down-to-earth guy. He never wavers in his commitment to Mums, and is quick to apologize when he is wrong. Papa has always seemed like the bulwark of our family – strong in body, keen in judgment, faithful in leadership, and professional in ministry. Papa cares for us – really cares. He understands the needs of his family, and doesn’t shrink from making decisions to guard his family that may garner criticism or disapproval from others. Papa takes time to talk with us, to listen to our hurts and needs and dreams. He’s a leader we can look up to.

Papa is an unashamed man of God – as he says it, “a blood-bought sinner.” He is passionate about God’s word, about bringing glory to God in every aspect of life. When we’re drifting spiritually, he helps us fasten our anchors in Christ. He takes time to cultivate his relationship with God, and gladly sacrifices his own interests for those of the Kingdom.

Papa is a family man at heart. He loves to go for a romp over the hills with us kids, to spend hours cranberry picking, to wage snowball battles, to jump in the car and drive a thousand miles to see relatives, to sit up late and play games, and to do everything else that a father could do with his family. And Papa loves to read, his voice rising and falling as the wind hums in the eaves, imitating the dialect of Scottish farmers, old maids, austere butlers, and evil villains alike. We’ll never forget these memories.

And so Papa is Papa. We’re proud to call him our Father and the leader of our family. We’re grateful for his humility and constant desire to grow closer to God, and we’re looking forward to entering the next year under his wisdom and direction.

 

Update on the Work

December 19, 2011

Here’s a quick sketch of what has been happening on the ministry front over the last few weeks:

Papa has been hard at work completing Field & Hearth administrative tasks for the year. He has taken several whirlwind trips to the mainland, meeting extensively with over two dozen families and individuals in Quebec and the northern United States. In addition to in-person counseling, Papa is handling a full schedule of counseling by phone, emails, and letters, including several crisis situations.

The results are very encouraging; there is no doubt that God is at work across our continent. Increasingly we realize that the question is not, “where is the work?”, but “where are the workers?”

Life among the French Acadians is going very well. A few nights ago we heard a knock late one evening, and went downstairs to find Christian friends from the small evangelical church who wanted to talk.

Recently, we had an opportunity to help out islanders by chopping up a pile of old wood into firewood and putting up a row of stands for drying seashells. We’ll be joining them for music and dinner this coming Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Prayers

December 19, 2011

It is almost 4 o’clock and darkness is settling over the Magdalens. A crockpot simmers on the counter, and I find myself looking out the window at the cliffs, now whitening with the first bits of ice. The rest of the family is out there at the base of the cliffs, following the frigid sea as it creeps up the sand toward the jagged rocks. This is the beginning of big-prayer season for me and I hope that some of you will join me: one parent, three sons, and two daughters on icy cliff rocks, often soaked with spray by the time they return from their daily afternoon outing, and I, here writing or cooking, often find myself at the window with the binoculars, straining to see if they are faring well…praying that no one slips into deep icy water, praying that the cliffside earth doesn’t slide (as it is wont to do), praying that God will bring them home without frostbite or worse.

Please pray for a snowy winter, with good weather exceptions on flight and ferry days. We have a guest coming on the 27th. Please pray that the plane will land without problems, and that all would be safe. All through the winter season. And beyond.

 

Happy 22nd Birthday, Austin!

December 6, 2011

Austin is a hard worker, faithfully completing the tasks he is given, steadily pushing towards his short and long term goals. Three years of law school has refined his work ethic and taught him the value of perseverance and grit. He knows his strengths and weaknesses. Austin has set high goals for himself – to be a solid Christian judge, an excellent photographer, a man of deep faith – and he is diligently pursuing those goals.

Austin is a man of integrity. He’s not afraid to stand up for what he knows is right, yet he knows how to do so in a way that persuades others to stand with him. He is quick to admit his mistakes, and is committed to positive, strategic growth. He knows the power of temptation and has set a course that keeps his mind and body pure and above reproach. He is a man’s man, and a one-woman man.

Together, we’ve biked through blizzards, hiked mountains on both sides of the continent, jumped slippery ice pans in the Atlantic, played music across America, and made memories that will last a lifetime.

Have a great Birthday, Austin!

The Foot of the Cross

December 3, 2011

With each passing day toward winter, the days grow shorter. Night comes quickly, and lingers long. The sun hangs lower on the southern horizon, giving feeble warmth to the homes tucked into the shelter of the hills.

Daylight wanes at 4:00, sending us hurrying up the mountain for our daily exercise activity. We reach the top, breathless in the howling wind, and marvel as always at the beauty of our slim archipelago lying upon the vast cold blue of the ocean.

It’s good to be alive, to be on the islands, to look forward to the whirling blizzards and long winter evenings ahead, to feel your encouragement and support from afar, and to remain, as always, at the foot of the cross.