Thursday, March 24, 2005
Rev. Edward Turner!
Rev. Jack Hockney is welcoming me as a newly Ordained Minister with the Assciated Gospel Church of Canada. (Similar to I.F.C.A. in the U.S.) I was ordained in Uranium City Evangelical Church on January 28, 1979.
Both my parents and Colleen's parents were there for the event. It was a blessed time. Dad Smith taught Jon (who was 6 months old) to eat table food. He never ate baby food again!
We had already been pastoring the little church in Uranium City for about three and a half years. For the next 25 years, serving the Lord would take us back and forth across western and northern Canada, through Seminary and four churches and then a two year stint at Peace Rive Bible Institute here in Sexsmith.
For the past three days "carpentering for the Carpenter" has taken me away from "wall discipleship" (teaching students to be responsible and patch the holes they make in walls) to "window and door discipleship" (me learning how to install windows and doors in people's homes). Interesting enough my mentor is a former P.R.B.I. maintenance man like me. He's a great guy to learn from and work with. The scary part will be when I have to head out on my own to install windows and doors. Fortuately, when that happens, help will only be a phone call away.
What about my Ordination? On the one hand I've served as a Pastor for some 25 years. (The Old Testament priests served at the altar for the same time period in their lives.) And I have no idea what direction our lives will take from here. The Lord may use us in various lay ministries, or He may have a new surprize assignment waiting for us just around the corner. After what I've seen the Lord do for us in the last few years, and the last few weeks, almost anything's possible!
But I am sure of two things. The Lord will always be there with us in whatever He takes us through. And some day soon we will be there in Heaven with our Saviour and His people. In the mean time we "trust and obey" the One who died for us! We serve a living Saviour.
Happy Easter to all.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
For this home purchase to be a success the LORD will have to continue to provied. And I know He will, His way! We serve a loving, faithful, and all powerful God, the only One who can truly be Jehovah-Jireh.
In the future I see more time and more work (and a little more money) in my new job. I will be working for a window company in Grande Prairie installing windows in existings homes.It's about a 10 mile drive on the highway to my workplace. (Colleen's is further because it is on the other side of Grande Prairie.)
I also see a lot of time and work going into our home. It is a fixer-upper! The busyest time will be getting it ready to move in. And then the move itself (about four blocks). All while getting into a new job. We do need your prayers.
Regarding ministry, I have no idea what the future holds. All I can tell you is that I'm scheduled to preach at a church about two hours away on April 10th. (I've only preched about four times since last summer.) We also have a small Bible study group that meets somewhat sporatically. (We've miss the last two weeks because of work and illnesses.) The Lord knows how He wants to use us. He has prepared my heart in the last couple of months through a deeper commitment to Him. I'm sure there are more exciting things in store for us yet!
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Eight Days With Jehovah-Jireh
In minutes I was looking at a house in the middle of town. It needed a lot of work (but not a lot of money) but it had all the features I'd been looking for in a house.
Friday, 1:00 p.m. Colleen and I looked at the house. She loved it!
Friday 5:30 p.m. We put an offer on the house.
Saturday 7:00 p.m. Our offer had been accepted with no extra conditions. Olaf said he was surprized because he had thought it was a bit low. At the same time we were applying for a loan with our financial person. Colleen and I ended the evening praising the Lord and celebrating the completion for the crutial first setp to purchasing our first home!
Monday 11:00 a.m. I met with the business manager at P.R.B.I. to check on my job security. He took me to the President's office. (This doesn's seem to be a good thing!) In minutes I was informed that, due to restructuring, my job was being terminated in about a month or so. They reassured me that they were more than satisfied with me as an employee. Referring to the house deal, I suggested that it was off. But both men said: "Buy the house, you need a place to live." (That's easy for you to say, I thought!) I hadn't thought that I needed the house more than ever now because we would no longer be able to remain in Campus housing.
They gave me the rest of the day off. Was I disappointed? Of course I was. I still am! Was I angry? Yes! But I handled it like a maintenance man. I stoped at the shop, took by 16# framing hammer and drove it into the workbence as hard as I could. No harm done and I felt better. I really haven't been angry since.
I looked around for work. There was a Camp Manager position on a Christian job sight but I soon learned that it was already filled. As Colleen and I discussed our options, we decided we wanted to stay in Sexsmith. At least she could keep working at Wal-Mart, a job she loves. Besides there seemes to be an abundance of work available in this booming area. Lumbering, petrolium, and construction are booming right now.
Tuesday I reminded myself that Jehovah-Jireh (see Genesis 22:14) is our security, not P.R.B.I. or any other employer. I was also reading through Job in my devotions. Job 23:8-12 was very reassuring.
Wednesday 7:00 a.m. "Lord do we purchase this house?" He reminded me that a person does not build a tower without first counting the cost. " OK Lord, I need to find a job before signing off on the job security clause." Checking the sales contract I suddenly realized: "I have to have a job by 9:00 tonight!" My stress level went to 99%! I talked things over with Olaf who reassured me, "It's in the Lord's hands. Don't sweat the small stuff!" "Then you need to pray for me," I said. He did! And then he suggesed I call Dave. "He'll have a job for you today." I did! I had an interview with Dave's boss at 4:00 and had a job at 4:30 p.m. Then I went over to Wal-Mart and celebrated with Colleen over a Big Extra and fries!
Thursday 10:00 a.m. Chapel was different. Student were being asked to encouraged or thank faculty and staff members. The young man I'd been mentoring for two years came to the microphone and blessed me. He could not have given me a better affirmation of my time here at P.R.B.I.
Friday Noon. Our financial person called: "Your load has been approved but we may need more time to get CMHC approval. Check with your realtor for an extension." I knew I probably could not get one but I called Olaf anyway. He reassured me that it would be done well within the time limit. At 1:00 p.m. the financial person called back. Another institution had guarenteed our loan. He faxed us what we needed and in minutes we had signed off on the financial clause of our agreement. At 3:30 p.m. I headed off to a Men's retreat with Phil Calaway and Ben Crane.
Its now Sunday evening. I'm back after a weekend of laughter, challenges, renewing old acquaintances, and me sharing how God has been Jehovh-Jireh for us! We just drove by our new home. The "For Sale" sign is down. See the photo below.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Climbing the Turner Family Tree
Grandpa married his first wife in 1880. He cowboyed and then homesteaded in Oklahoma and had a store in a little village called Tipton, New Mexico. They lost several children in infancy but they had five surviving children when his wife died in 1900. The youngest child was adopted out.
Grandpa new the Lord Jesus Christ and in his final years spent time reading the big old Family Bible he's brought with him from the southern States. He read about and then talked about where he would be going soon. He went to Heaven at age 88, a couple of years before I was born. I am looking forward to meeting the wonderful man my Dad talked so much about.
My Grandma Turner, Fienberg. She was born in West Virginia in 1868 and outlived three husbands, living to the age of 96. Her maiden name was Jacobs (Yes, she was part Jewish). She moved from New York to New Mexico(for her health) in the early 1900's with some of her children. She married Grandpa Turner in 1910 and left for Canada almost immediately after that. They traveled by covered wagon. My Dad was born in Colorado in 1911 and they crossed into Alberta in 1912.
I knew her quite well. She had lost of concoctions, like Granny Clampit on the Beverley Hillbillies!
My Grandpa, Fredrick Pohl. You can't tell from this picture, but he'd lost one eye. He was born in German community in Russia. He came with his family to Alberta, Canada as a young man in the 1920's I believe. He and my Grandma Pohl (below) lived in the Millet area, close to Edmonton. That was where my Dad met and married their daughter, in 1938. Shortly after that my Mom and Dad and the Turner grandparents moved to the farm in Ponoka.
My Grandma Pohl. She was born in Germany. Grandpa Pohl was her second husband. She had several children from each husband. My Mom was somewhere in the middle.
Sunday, March 06, 2005
The Beginning and End of an Era
This is Eldorad, the mining camp just five miles form Uranium City. You can see the headframe of the mine on a hill above the little town. As you can see the far end of the airstrip is built into Ace lake. The white patch directly across the lake is the beach where "Beacon Bible Camp" was. Much spiritual work was done there.
The shutdown of Eldorado, the only mine, and major employer (80%) came as a shock to the workers shortly before 11.00 a.m. one morning. The 11.00 news took the story nationwide. It maked the end of some 30 years of Uranium mining in the area.
The Hospital looks much like it did when I would visit patients there. If I walked, it was quite a climb up the hiking trail. And yes, this was where Jon was born! The Hospital remained open for many years after the mine shut down. However it is now closed.
Uranium City from "Hospital Hill." Downtown is in the forground. The Arena, High School, and many homes are visible through the trees. At the top of the picture in Lake Athabasca and the bay where barges would come in from Ft. McMurray.
Downtown Uranium City. Our church is the dark green roof building in the lower left area. Our house is not quite visible at the middle of the left edge of the picture.
Uranium City does not look much different from the air than it did 25 years ago. To the left of the open area near the bottom of the picture is the Roman Catholic Church. If you look closely you can see its steeple. About a block to the right is the church building where I pastored. It has a dark green roof. The building in the upper middle was the Eldorado grocery store. The two round roof buildings to the upper right are the hockey and curling rinks (standard equipment in any Canadian town).
Several houses like this one were never lived in. Others for a year or two. Some were moved by barge to Ft. McMurray Alberta.
Now Uranium City is very much a ghost town. This would be the scene out the back door of the church where I pastored for six years. What we have left are numerous memories, many close friends (stil) and a few more we will meet in Heaven because God used us to help nudge them through the narrow gate.
Once upon a time long long ago, it was a warm spring-like day so Ted and I decided to create another playmate on the farm. He was fun to play with because he never complained, not like that twin of mine (or was it me, I forget!).
Nearly half a century later I still love to hurl a snowball at an unsuspecting student here on the P. R. B. I. campus. Some opportunities are just too good to pass up!