To everything there is a season, a time to leave the past behind,
By Barb Alston, Melita Presbyterian Church
As I write this, the weather forecast is calling for cooling temperatures. I look around the garden and see the beauty of flowers blooming. I feel a pang of sadness in knowing that one morning the leaves and stems will be blackened because of frost. I remember at one time, I would be rushing around with blankets and tarps to cover the flowers so that I could enjoy them into the late fall. But, now I just cover some late cucumbers, peas and beans, because they are laden with produce that just needs to ripen slightly or grow a little more. Black birds and geese are flocking. Only one humming bird came to the feeder today. The baby barn swallows have left the nest over the front door. Apples have been picked, or are falling from the tree. Tomatoes are gathered in. Soon it will be time to dig the onions and other root vegetables.
Acceptance. That is a big word. Each year we need to accept that the time for producing crops in the fields and fruit and flowers in the garden, has come to an end. We do our best to harvest what has been produced and move on to the next season.
The past sometimes binds us, with bad feelings linked to memories, of people, places and things that are no longer part of our lives. Anger, resentment, from things that happened long ago, may still imprison us. We are urged in this Scripture from Isaiah to—“not remember the former things, or consider the things of old.”(ch. 43)
Conversations often turn to the way that things used to be, when there was more population in the rural areas, when life was simpler, when there was not as much technology.
Sometimes we talk about the good old days.
Where does this get us? Sometimes we may find ourselves in the midst of a mire of negative feelings.
We remember when churches were filled, volunteer organizations were thriving —our families gathered without so many empty chairs . . . . .
But the past is gone. We continue to read in Isaiah 43: “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it”?
What hopeful words!
No matter what is going on in our lives, no matter how bad we feel. No matter what we fear, or what from our pasts holds us back, there is God, about to do a new thing!!!! No matter how low we may happen to feel. No matter how hopeless things may look. No matter how sad we may be, or how lost, confused, or tied to the past we may be again, there it is. There is God, about to do a new thing!!!! And just what is this new thing? How will we know if we hold onto the past and complain that the present is not like the past, if we dwell on what we have lost, instead of what we have gained?
Part of living is not in living in the past, but in DEALING with it, not in living a life of grief, but eventually, whatever time it takes to get there, a life of hope in this new thing that God is about to do!
What are we talking about? Well, it’s up to each person. Perhaps, there is a new purpose for us: a new friend who needs you, or an old friend who needs you for something new, a cause that you can take up, because of your gifts and experience, a job as a volunteer that just fits into your schedule, a name that comes into your mind of someone to phone, right now! Maybe it is a book to write, A song to sit and play on the piano, a choir to join, a lunch invitation to give, a child to cheer, a dog to walk, a smile to give, a meal to serve, a conversation to share, a game to play.
Not only in Isaiah do we find God’s promise that he is about to do a new thing; we also find the promise that God will be with us, and will strengthen and help us.
“I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. “For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”(Ch. 43)
In a song sung by George Strait, called “I saw God today” we find a humble song that talk about recognizing God in the weeds that grow through the cracks in the pavement or concrete, in the beauty of the sunset and in the face of his newborn baby girl. The chorus goes like this:
"I've been to church, I've read the book, I know He's there, but I don't look, near as often as I should,
His fingerprints are everywhere, I just look down and stop and stare, open my eye and then I swear, I Saw God Today,"
As late summer rapidly slips into early fall, and we feel the chill in the wind, my prayer would be that each person where-ever they are at in life, whatever they are dealing with, may take a moment, to recognize, God here with us today —- in nature, in Scripture, in the seasons, in the everyday activities, decisions, and experiences of our lives. After all surely, those hopeful words we find in Isaiah, “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it”? Surely these hopeful words are for each one of us on this day and this moment.
Many of Manitoba's musical bright lights gathered at the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre last night to pay tribute to one of Manitoba's most popular and enduring musicians. Al Simmons, Don Amero, Jaylene Johnson and others joined Steve Bell, who is celebrating 25 years as a solo artist in 2014. It's a milestone that is also being recognized with the release of the documentary, Burning Ember, the Steve Bell Journey. Al Friesen was part of last night's VIP screening, and caught up with Director Andrew Wall of Refuge 31 films. Andrew shared how he first came to know Steve, and feel the story was worth telling
Aaron Burnett and Don Amero, who will tour with Steve this fall, were also at last night's screening
CJRB Radio 1220 and a number of area businesses held a couple of Farmer Appreciation meals in mid September.
People had a chance to enter their name to win a meal at their farm for 10 people. The lucky winners were Kelly Vandoorne of Deloraine and Trevor Mealy of Minto.
CJRB staff and some other staff from participating businesses made the trip to Kelly Vandoorne's farm on September 12th and then to Trevor Mealy's farm on September 15th.
The winners were treated to chicken, pizza, drinks and a dessert. Thanks to eveyrone for entering their name for a chance to win the meal and other prizes that came along with the food.
A number of area businesses took entries and supplied prizes for the contest:
Home Hotel - Chicken Chef Boissevain Rocky Mountain Equipment Boissevain Rocky Mountain Equipment Killarney Du Rite Auto and Ag Boissevain Southwest Agencies Boissevain Sunrise Credit Union Boissevain Killarney Tire Killarney Steads Farm Supply - Boissevain Boundary Co-op Deloraine Boissevain Home and Ag Centers
The MCC Relief Sale will be held in Brandon at the Keystone Centre September 20th starting at 8:30. Jayme Giesbrecht will be there, broadcasting live from the Keystone Centre. Learn more at http://mcccanada.ca/
It was the end of an era this past weekend. Over 30 years of the MCC Relief and Auction Sale held in Morris. Saturday turned out to be a pretty decent day for the final sale.
Shannon Dueck of our Golden West News team and Al friesen were two of the many volunteers at the sale - they assisted at the perogy lunch. And it was after lunch Al caught up with past sale chair Dave Reimer
The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum in Brandon has unveiled a World War ll memorial.
The 7 foot statue and 300 foot long granite wall were erected just west of the museum. The wall contains 19,000 names of those who lost their lives in the second world war.
The memorial includes the names of Canadians and those from other commonwealth countries like New Zealand and Australia.
The Museum's Executive Director Stephen Hayter says the memorial pays a fitting tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. "We couldn't be happier with the end result. The memorial looks great and will be a lasting tribute to all those listed on the wall."
The STARS Rescue on the Island took place yesterday, with 8 Manitoba business leaders flown to an island to compete in a variety of challenges to raise money for STARS Air Ambulance. Here's a look at the experience:
CJRB Morning Show host Jayme Giesbrecht standing beside the Stars Air Ambulance
The Emerald Memorial Park in Killarney officially opened on Monday September 8th.
Community leaders, local business owners and project supporters gathered for the ribbon cutting ceremony just south of the J.A. Victor David Museum.
The park became a reality thanks to significant grants from Agrium and the Killarney Foundation. The project was done in partnership with Communities in Bloom. the group's founding President Raymond Carriere was on hand for the ribbon cutting.
He's impressed with how the local group worked together to make the project happen.
Here we are in the first days of September. Those who attend school will be just getting back. I remember those first days, new classes and different teachers, the anticipation of seeing friends, some of whom you never saw all summer. Those who teach or work at the school may have put in more than a few days already.
Garden produce is still coming in, though some of the rows have been pulled up, like peas and beans and some of the corn. Our late June garden has produced well. A second planting of peas and beans is just starting to produce, sneaking in hopefully before the first frost. Each sunny day and frost-free night these days is not only a bonus, but a real hope, with a lot of our later seeded crops in our region this year.
The black-birds have been flocking for a while. The humming birds swarm at our feeders. Some new baby calves are running around out on the pasture as our fall -calving has begun. The odd leaves on the trees have started to turn.
There is canola swathed and being swathed. More rain came, adding to already very high moisture levels
The grass is certainly green and lush. Our fall pasture is in great shape for this time of year. The cows have that contented look about them. The crickets have been chirping for a while .Spring calves and colts have had a chance to grow well.
The season is slipping into fall. Leaves on the trees in some places have a hint of color. Flower gardens have many blooms and I am reminded that today or this week is the time to stop and look at them, because soon their beauty will be past.
I have been reminded lately of the passage of time, something that we have no control over. As grandchildren , slide into another grade of school , or onto new endeavors .Some parents will be facing this year the first time a child leaving home as they go off to university , or out on their own working.
We look back over the last while and think of the family member and friends we have lost and we notice how we all grow older and can hardly believe how fast time goes by. Little ones grow so very fast. It seems like no time until they are in school, the first day, those first grades, and the enthusiasm to learn, the middle grades, beginning of high school and then graduating and on to work or more school and their own lives.
I am reminded also of just how much of our lives is beyond our control and of just how much there is to accept.
We struggle with change. I remember when as a teen-ager and into my twenties I used to work at dairy farms milking cows. Most of the farms I worked on had a pipeline that ran the length of the barn and each cow had a stall. It was a long and difficult process, if you had to change a cow to another stall.
We are like that to, but even as the leaves begin to change at this time of year, so must we.
We often have conversations about how fast technology is changing. What will be next? The wonders of computers and smart-phones, g.p.s, and communications can astound us.
We grow older, as do the people around us .Our health status changes. Our abilities change. The organizations we are a part of change. There is a lot said about embracing change and moving forward, which are good words, but harder to do. My only thought at the moment on this is to face the changes in our lives, to talk about them, to pray about them. With each loss we suffer in our lives, comes change. The aging process brings change. The passage of time brings a lot of changes. It comes down to honestly facing what is changing in our lives.
Psalm 46 comes to mind (verses 1 and 2)
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; …" Verses 10 and 11: “Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations; I am exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. “
There are some wise words here Though, many things change, one constant is that God is with us.
God is a refuge. The big message is that we need not fear .We need not fear, but we need to honestly face the changes that happen in our lives. Basically I think that we can say, that we fear change.
Some things we just have to accept. We get to thinking we are in control of things, especially our lives, but we are in control of very little. We are though in control of our own thoughts and actions and how we think and deal with the changes that come along.
There is an old saying about how you cannot control the wind, but you CAN adjust your sails.
In other things we have to make adjustments. It may be as simple as planting a different crop than we were going to, an increase or decrease in a cow herd, or it may be something more life-changing, like a change of career, retirement, a move, a trip somewhere or other major decision.
The psalmist reminds us though even if there are great changes that we must accept, or make happen ——
“The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. “
Something to think about The more that is going on in life, the more we have to take the time to Be still, and know that I am God!”
As beings that don’t like things to change, basically, fearing it really it is an inevitable part of life that calls for us to embrace it and move forward, simply to survive.
And so, all the best with the changes in each and every one’s life these days. May you find the strength and faith to move forward in faith and courage each and every day.
The 2014 Dunrea Flea Market took place in Boissevain on August 31st and from all indications was a big success.
This was the fifth year that the Dunrea market was held in Boissevain since being moved over from Dunrea.
Brenda Nixon helps coordinate the fglea market and was thrilled with Sunday's turnout. "We made a real effort to get more people to the market and I think it paid off" said Nixon. She pointed outh they had a lot more Americans at this year's market.
Nixon says the future looks bright. They had close to 100 vendors and she hopes to build on that number in 2015.
If you are calmly ecstatically waiting for that big yellow bus to come around to whisk the beloved youngin’s away to fun and adventures, know that you are not alone.
In Jen Hatmaker’s hilarious blog, she writes, “Yes, the girl who bemoaned homework folders and daily school requirements and reading minutes and All The Things is now on her knees, begging the teachers to take these children back.
You understand this, right? We had the fun. We surely did. We did the swimming and the vacations and the sleeping in and the loosey-goosey living, and now ladies and gentlemen, I am very much over it.”
Love it. But personally, I’m not looking forward to school – I’m just not.
I know. Maybe part of it is that my kids are older and more independent. They are not getting bored and hounding me for things to do. Or at least they’ve learned not to look bored, as it usually doesn’t end well for them.
A recent conversation with my daughter went like this…
Me: Well if it’s any consolation, I’m not looking forward to school starting EITHER.
Her: Yeah, because you won’t have your SLAVE around anymore…
Me: Nooooooo. Not entirely.
Besides, a little boredom does them good. I think back to my childhood, and we were bored all the time. Except we didn’t call it bored – we just called it summer.
Now, to the normal, relatively organized mother, school means routine, and things happening when they should. And this is good. This is how you raise respectable, contributing members of society.
But to moms like me, this means things need to be done at certain intervals, and with a certain dependability, or else bad things happen. Children get sent on field trips without lunches. Or get left waiting after soccer practice. For hours. In the dark. And for moms like me, this causes a certain amount of, let’s say, debilitating claustrophobia.
While I abhor mosquitoes and I opposite of like jungle weather, some of the reasons I love summer are these:
I don’t have to grocery shop with any particular lunch supplies in mind – scrounging is a perfect summer skill-builder.
The time from 4:00pm and on does not need to be plotted out with the military precision of a Navy SEALS team. Honestly, most nights go something like this:
4:05 Bus arrives to drop off kids.
4:08 Shoot hastily thrown together supper of leftover sloppy joes down throats of unsuspecting children.
4:15 Yell at all children to make sure they have their hockey equipment slash soccer cleats slash saxophone slash whatever the heck they need for whatever thing we are on our way to before – oh for crying out loud what do you mean you’re supposed to be there 30 minutes earlier than usual today??!! And yes, you DID tell me that you were bringing cupcakes for both teams after the game. But I got distracted by something shiny before I had a chance to write it down.
8:30 Get home, unpack stuff – as in, throw aforementioned music/sports paraphernalia on pile in entrance.
9:00 Clean up aftermath of supper, as if it can be called that…
9:45 “Mom, I said that I was going to bring 21 fresh fruit skewers for our Jamaican festival tomorrow. Remember? It was in the note I brought home.” Right. Something shiny must have happened.
10:45 I find myself staring into the bathroom mirror, debating whether or not it’s really worth it to brush my teeth and muttering, “How in the fricken frack am I going to get 21 skewers into a backpack without anyone being impaled…”
Soooo, whether the sound of that bus rolling up to the end of your driveway causes joyful feels or not – it’s coming. I’m sure when the day arrives I will kiss their shiny happy faces and wave goodbye and smile. And there will be a pleasant little buzzing inside that feels kinda like anticipation – there always is.
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