Monday, July 27, 2015

Mind Your Tongue

 I was rolling out pie crust the other day and had a flashback of myself as a pre-teen sitting in my neighbour's kitchen while she demonstrated the art of pasty making.  There were eight or ten of us, all members of a 4-H homemaking club.  The leader, my neighbour, was having trouble with the pie crust.  It kept tearing.  She was doing her best to instruct us girls on the finer points of pastry while trying to repair the holes that appeared in her pie crust.  A school chum sitting next to me snickered behind her hand and made rude comments.
    Our neighbour was a busy farm wife with hundreds of tasks awaiting her attention.  She received no monetary recompense for teaching a batch of smart-aleck school girls.  She didn't even have a child of her own to benefit from the 4-H club.  She deserved our gratitude, not our ridicule.
     The Bible is rife with  instructions to guard our speech. James 3:8, Matt 12: 36-37, Ephesians. 4:29. 1 Peter 3;10, Ps 34:13, to reference a few. 
       Malicious talk is ungodly, it is damaging to the community and it is hurtful to the victim.  What I realized, as I rolled out pie crust, some fifty years later, is that a nasty tongue is harmful to the speaker as well.  That incident has stuck in my mind all these years, and my memory of my school chum has been tarnished forever by her unkind words.  
      I remember telling my pal to hush lest she be heard.  I wish I had told her to hush because she was doing wrong. Col 3:16.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Little Golden Book

By Martha McCracken

 The other day in the grocery store, of all places, I spotted a book that I knew I had to have:

 Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book, by Diane E. Muldrow c. 2013

 Just looking at the cover illustration of a woman, dressed in a fifties era red dress, holding a wee puppy ("The Poky Little Puppy"! ) made me feel nostalgic for the days of childhood when life and its rules seemed a lot simpler.  Not easier, mind you, just not as complex as they may seem nowadays.

 So, I bought the book!  At $10.99 it seemed like a deal.  And it was. 

 As I paged through the book at home, I revelled in the calming and straightforward messages, the charming pictures of children, occasionally adults, and all manner of creatures from the animal  and animated kingdom, all culled from the Little Golden Books of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.  Many of you may remember Tootle the train engine,  The Three Bears, I am a Bunny, The Saggy Baggy Elephant, and others.

 And the captions are positive and life affirming:  Stay curious, use your imagination, break bread together, cultivate contentment, give thanks, let your children know you love them ...
 Sound familiar?

 I have read through this gem several times and shared it with friends, who also delighted in seeing old favourites again, and appreciating even more the life lessons learned when we were younger.  There has been a lot of laughter.

 As noted on page 16 of the book, under an illustration of a baby elephant floating on its back and spouting water, "The simplest things are often the most fun!"

 And yes, I did proudly print my name on the inside cover, proclaiming that

      This Little Golden Book belongs to

Ed. Note:  Thanks to Martha for sharing her Golden Gem.  We had a 72nd wedding anniversary at the church recently.  I expect Doris and Royce practised a few of the golden messages in their long and happy marriage.

Congratulations Royce and Doris, and thanks to Felicity for sharing her pictures.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Colouring Outside the Lines

by Alice Valdal

   I've had a bad week.  It started when I decided to update my author's webpage, using a program "they" said was the best.  I am not a techie but, armed with the assurance that the program would walk me through, I began.  I downloaded the files. I unzipped the files. I called my server and got an upgrade. I installed the files on my site, I clicked "view" and VoilĂ ! -- it didn't work. The screen I was supposed to see, the one with all the instructions, didn't appear.  I couldn't find it anywhere.  But, I persevered, went to step 2.  That worked.  Step 3 worked, then at step 4 (of nine) the whole thing froze.  That little "loading" icon went around and around for hours but nothing happened.  I backed up, I reinstalled, I looked at the help menu, all to no avail . . . finally, defeated, I called my IT guy.  Four days later I'm still waiting for him to call back.
    So, I put the website chore aside and went on to another project, also on line.  When I tried to sign in, I was refused entry because, according to them,  I do not exist!
    By now my shoulders are higher than my ears and I walk away from the computer.  The pile of papers on my desk demands attention, so I sort and file and pick up my bank statement.  I always reconcile my statement with my bank book.  No problem. Not this week!  There are serious discrepancies and I can't find the error(s).
   The week is nearly over and I've been stymied at every turn.  Teeth gritted so tight my fillings are in danger, I walk outside . . . and dissolve into laughter.  The first thing to catch my eye is an Easter lily, blooming under a hydrangea bush.  It's a lovely sight, beautiful, eccentric, surprising, unique, and it stirs my soul to gratitude.

   In a world that wants to limit our conversations to 140 characters, insists that our pictures fall inside the lines and dictates how many letters we can have in our names, I am reminded that God's world has room for endless variety.
   In His marvellous creation a chameleon can change his colours, an Easter lily can bloom in July and He knows me by name, it is engraved in the palm of His hand.

   Praise God for the infinite variety of His Creation.  Praise Him for His boundless mercy.  Praise Him for His everlasting love.  Praise Him for the gift of an unexpected Easter lily.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Sponsor a Student

by Linda Cliff

House Upon the Rock Student Sponsorship

The Dominican Republic requires that all children attend school until grade eight.  Public schools are available; however, the government only provides a building and teacher; no materials, books, or even chalk.   There are some private schools in the area that provide a higher level of education and more opportunities for continuing on to university and obtaining a profession.  With a profession, a student can not only become self supporting, but, also support their aging parents and help their siblings.  A good education is one of the best ways to change the future of an entire family and help them to rise above poverty. 
   If you would like to help a child gain an education, you might consider sponsorship.  The cost varies from $20/month to over $100/month depending on the child, the school they wish to attend and the grade level.  Since your gift is for one particular child, you get to chose.
Before you make the important decision to sponsor a child, here is some important information that may help you.
  1. Does the Ministry for House Upon the Rock issue tax receipts? 
    • Yes.  All payments are made through MSC Canada who then issues a receipt.
  2. Can you have your bank account debited each month or quarterly?
    • Yes, MSC Canada can set this up.  You can also pay online, with cheque or set up the automatic debits
      3.    Once a child has been chose how long does it take till the process is completed?
      Usually, a sponsorship can be set up within two weeks.  The usual delay is waiting of the school to accept a new student.  Sponsorship starts in August but the registration fee would be due almost right away.
      4.  How do you let the Ministry know which child you have chosen?  
       Email works best but a phone call to Sharyn Branson would also work.
       5.  What are the next steps once you have your child?
Once it is confirmed that the family still wants sponsorship, and then the family has to register the student at the private school.  This requires submitting proper documentation ie transcript from previous school, immunization records, birth certificate, etc. Depending on the age of the student, the private school might require a placement exam to be written before accepting the student.  Once the student is accepted and registered then the sponsor is contacted and will be asked to send the registration fee as soon as possible.  The child or parents (depending on the age of the child) writes the sponsors a minimum of three times a year.  Once at the beginning of the school year, once around January/February and the third time is at the end of the school term and a copy of the final report card is included.  Parents  are also required to attend 3 yearly parent meetings with the Ministry.

If you are interested in this worthwhile initiative please contact the Ministry for House Upon the Rock ( or the office at SPPC 250 656- 2241 or speak to Linda.