Monday, April 25, 2011


Resurrection Day, Part Two

Yesterday was another Resurrection Day for the little church in Thorhild. We planned for some time to have a"traditional service" on Easter, knowing it was the best day to get new people out to church.

After taking in an great joint Good Friday service here in Camrose (Brian sang "Watch the Lamb") I headed up to Thorhild. On the way I stopped and saw Ron and his new girlfriend at West Edmonton Mall.

On Saturday we passed out invitations to our service all over Thorhild. In the process, I met and visited with several people I had not seen for a long time. In between all of this I made a couple of visits and had one excellent witnessing opportunity and another encouraging visit with some former young people. Then we had a lovely dinner and an Elders meeting.

Sunday was another nice day and we started it with a "Breaking of Bread" service at 9:00 a.m. That's a communion service, Brethren Assemblies style!

As we prepared for the Easter service the attendance appeared to be low, but at the last minute several more people came, including two or three we had only met the day before while handing out invitations. Altogether we had 27 or 28 people, about double what we were having for our weekly Bible Studies.

What did I do? I preached! Well, I called it a "non traditional sermon." I came in from the back, dressed as a disciple. (I used my shepherd costume from "Bethlehem Walk") I talked about the eventful week I had, starting with the Triumphal Entry. It was all down hill from there. Until I met this Man on the Emmaus Road. I had great freedom in presenting the gospel.

Afterwords one lady told me: "It was your finest hour!" It wasn't me, it was the enablement of the Spirit. His direction and strength was very evident to me as I spoke. Ever since the church reopened there has been a tremendous freedom in the Spirit to minister for the Lord. And there's been much evidence of how He has directed in our times together. Praise the Lord!

Next week we will be going back to our Bible study format. Hopefully we will have a few more people with us.

Afterwords I was invited to a Passover meal, complete with a leg of lamb, at a church family's home. It was an awesome weekend!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


"Heaven Is For Real"

I just finished reading the book. I highly recommend it. Get it! Put a box of Kleenex beside your chair and read it. It will bless your heart and strengthen your faith.

Sunday, February 06, 2011


Resurrection Day!

Over three months ago, Thorhild Living Gospel Fellowship, the church I had pastored for nine years, closed its doors. Since then I have made several trips there to help work on reopening the church. We sought the Lord for direction and eventually reestablished a board of elders. Several weeks ago we decided to start with a Sunday morning Bible study twice a month. Today was to be the first one.

Last night after work I was about to head for Thorhild, a two hour drive, when my daughter called and advised me to stay off the road. She and her husband were on their way to Edmonton and had encountered several accidents. They took two and a half hours to make a 45 minute trip.

This morning I headed out early on the still somewhat icy roads. For about 20 km I followed a sanding truck. Then the road got better. Several times there were sanding trucks ahead of me and most of the rest of the road was already sanded. At church in Thorhild I publicly thanked the Lord for sanding trucks.

About 14 of us gathered. We sang hymns, peoples favorites. My friend Steve led the singing and his wife Joyce played the Piano. We prayed together. We shared with one another. And I led a Bible study. Afterwords we went downstairs for a light lunch. All 14 of us stayed for it! Every person who make a comment expressed their appreciation for how the meeting went.

The roads were much improved for the drive home. I arrived safely in Camrose, as did Suzanne and Brian from their overnight date!
At home I caught the last two thirds of the Superbowl. I thought to myself, if I had to choose between what I did today and being at the Superbowl, I'd choose "resurrection day!"
Please keep us in your prayers; we have only just begun.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


Minor Setback

After a month of waiting I finally got back to the family farm. I spent the past three days out there getting dirty and greasy. I was working on the old tractor I am in the process of restoring.
The first task has been to get the engine running.

On Monday, Bill (my brother) helped me set the repaired cylinder head onto the engine. Probably the most important task is torquing down the head bolts. This is what 150 foot/pounds looks like! Monday was a successful day. The engine took shape as I continued by reinstalling the push rods and rocker arms.
Everything was progressing well yesterday. Then I decided it was time to add water to the radiator. I put the garden hose into the top of the radiator and Bill turned on the water. Almost immediately, water was running out of the bottom of the rad and onto the floor. No, I had not forgotten to put the plug back into the drain! (If only...) Instead, the water found its way through a crack in the elbow coming off the bottom of the rad. So we spend the rest of the afternoon and this morning taking the radiator off the tractor and taking the broken pats off. You see, as we took at apart we also discovered another crack. As the picture reveals, the tractor is looking less like a tractor again.

Hopefully I can get the cracked parts welded at a local shop and the restoration process can continue soon.
In the mean time I have another restoration project that I am involved in. I must focus on it for the next several days. I should be able to bring a report on that one next week.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010



The restoration process is taking its time! Today I finally was successful at unseizing the tractor's engine. The process:
Soak cylinders with diesel fuel (about two gallons).
Let soak for about two months.
Try loosing the seized engine by rocking the tractor back and forth.
Remove head and replace diesel fuel with rubbing alcohol.
Let soak overnight.
Loosen the seized piston by hitting it with a fire log the right size and a big hammer.
The result: the engine moved. Elation!
Now there is more work and waiting to do until the engine will move freely. But a major hurdle had been crossed. Praise the Lord.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


The Dawn of a New Day!

I finally did it! I bought my first real tractor. After some 50 scale models, I thought it was about time! A READ tractor? Well, it needs some attention, which I hope to give it soon. So, for both me and the tractor it is the dawn of a new day.

For those who want to know, it is a Case LA, the same model as we had on the farm when I was a teen-ager. Ironically enough, my brother Ted is in the process of doing the same thing, with the same model of tractor, down in Montana. What can I say, we're twins!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Mountain Top Experiences

This year Colleen and I took a short vacation together because I'd just started a new job. We ended our three day get-away with supper at a nearby restaurant. We were listening to the country music in the air when it suddenly changed to a gospel song: "God on the Mountain." Over the past few days we had had at least three such experiences.

Monday morning, we started our vacation with a 5:00 a.m. wake up call. Five hours later we were at our destination on Hwy 93. (Yes this is the same highway that wanders down through western Montana.) We were at the closest driving point to the Columbia Icefield.

Although I have lives most of my life within driving distance of this spot, I did not witness it until a few days after 9-11. We were on our way to Montana and could only stop briefly. I desperately wanted to take the "SnoCoach" tour onto the Athabasca Glacier. A few years ago we wized by again. This time we were on our way back from Montana to Sexsmith, Alberta.

This year I decided this was our opportunity. With the help of my son-in-law, we turned the trip into a three-day mountain adventure. Brian helped me get a great deal on a two night stay in a motel in Banff.

The Columbia Icefield adventure was great. We took the "SnoCoach" up the Athabasca Glacier as far as it could go. The machine looks like an armored bus on tractor tires. This makes sense since it was a farmer turned engineer who designed it. I met him some 15 years ago after he returned to his farm and started a specializes farm equipment manufacturing business. All but one of the snow coaches are at the Athabasca Glacier. The other one is in Antarctica!

On the Glacier we could see the melt-water running down into a man-made ditch in the ice to preserve the ice road. The water was murky because of the "rock flour" in it. These fine particles disperse minerals into the water and produce the emerald colors found in some alpine lakes. I found it interesting that the rocky moraine pushed up by the glacier on either side of it was actually ice covered with an insulating layer of rocky debree. The glacier we were on was only three per-cent of the whole ice-field. Most of it was invisible behind us. Google Earth gives you a good view of its proportions.

On our way to Banff we saw many more awe-inspiring sites of mountains, glaciers, and lakes. Banff itself was different too. Colleen and I have been there several times for church conferences. They were always in the fall after the summer tourists had fled and before skiers had arrived. But this time we were there simply as tourists.

The shops on Main Street were open late, many as late as 11:00 p.m. So we did the tourist thing and shopped and shopped and shopped. Don't worry, we did a lot more looking than buying. Trinkets of every Canadian icon were to be found: Beaver, Bear, Mountain Sheep, Moose, Moose in Mountie uniform, Moose canoeing, Moose drinking beer, Moose playing hockey (you get the picture). One shop sells Christmas ornaments all year long. I found it most interesting. However the most bizare items were in a gem shop that also sold petrified artifacts, including ( I lie not) petrified dinosaur poop!

We toured up Mt. Norquay. I was there some 45 years ago the summer my sister worked in Banff. That time Ted and I hiked up the ski run to the special building for the judges to watch the ski jumping. About then Banff was bidding for the winter Olympics. 20 years later, when Calgary hosted the Olympics, the ski jumping took place there. This summer, I could barely see that building because the area was closed. However, it has obviously grown to some four lifts and twenty runs today.

Before leaving Banff we took the gondola up Sulphur Mountain. Forty years ago, on a Thanksgiving trip home from Bible College, I took Colleen up that mountain. It was the weekend I asked her to marry me. Nine years ago we did the same venture. The first time I do not remember being afraid. If I had been, I would not have let on. But these last two times it bothered me going up in the Gondola. ( I do have a fear of heights) This trip they displayed pieces of the cables that supported and pulled us up the mountain side. 38mm and 26mm respectively did not seem very reassuring to me. But the ride down, both times, was like we were floating and I was not nervous at all. I think the pulling and straining of the equipment on the way up was a big factor.
Form the top we could see many other mountains and the town of Banff down below. Up beside the lookout area were sever Mountain ewes and their lambs. We could almost touch them.

We felt a little sad to leave the mountain and return to Alberta's parklands. Overall it was a relaxing and enjoyable little vacation.

Blogger is giving me problems, so go to Facebook for photographs.

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