Monday, December 14, 2009

Ten Thousand Years

Here's a moving rendition of an old favourite of mine, Ten Thousand Years sung by a trio and the choir at Sevier Heights Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee:

Christmas At Rock-Away Rest

As I conduct monthly chapel services at one of our local Seniors' Residences I couldn't resist posting this on Pilgrim Scribblings.

Don't laugh too hard. If the Lord doesn't return and we live to a ripe old age, this poem will be about me and YOU.


'Twas the night before Christmas at Rock-Away Rest,
and all of us seniors were looking our best.
Our glasses, how sparkly, our wrinkles, how merry;
Our punchbowl held prune juice plus three drops of sherry.

A bedsock was taped to each walker, in hope
That Santa would bring us soft candy and soap.
We surely were lucky to be there with friends,
Secure in this residence and in our Depends.

Our grandkids had sent us some Christmasy crafts,
Like angels in snowsuits and penguins on rafts.
The dental assistant had borrowed our teeth,
And from them she'd crafted a holiday wreath.

The bed pans, so shiny, all stood in a row,
Reflecting our candle's magnificent glow.
Our supper so festive -- the joy wouldn't stop --
Was creamy warm oatmeal with sprinkles on top.

Our salad was Jell-O, so jiggly and great,
Then puree of fruitcake was spooned on each plate.
The social director then had us play games,
Like "Where Are You Living?" and "What Are Your Names?"

Old Grandfather Looper was feeling his oats,
Proclaiming that reindeer were nothing but goats.
Our resident wand'rer was tied to her chair,
In hopes that at bedtime she still would be there.

Security lights on the new fallen snow
Made outdoors seem noon to the old folks below.
Then out on the porch there arose quite a clatter
(But we are so deaf that it just didn't matter).

A strange little fellow flew in through the door,
Then tripped on the sill and fell flat on the floor.
'Twas just our director, all togged out in red.
He jiggled and chuckled and patted each head.

We knew from the way that he strutted and jived
Our social- security checks had arrived.
We sang -- how we sang -- in our monotone croak,
Till the clock? tinkled out its soft eight-p.m. stroke.

And soon we were snuggling deep in our beds.
While nurses distributed nocturnal meds.
And so ends our Christmas at Rock-Away Rest.
'fore long you'll be with us, We wish you the best!

Author Unknown

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fisher Carries the Torch

As he held aloft the flame that never ceases to capture the attention of the world, Mike Fisher was filled with a mix of emotions.

But on a frosty Friday night in Gatineau, one thought was so clear and so unmistakable.

"I was proud to be Canadian," the Ottawa Senators centre said after doing his part to bring the Olympic Torch Relay into the national capital region.

Clad in a white track suit with the words 'Vancouver 2010' emblazoned on the pant legs with a Winter Games toque protecting him from the chill of the wintry winds, Fisher jogged for 300 metres down Boulevard du Carrefour in Gatineau to a round of cheers that also included a few 'Go Sens Go' chants.

"Everything they've got going on here, it's pretty neat to be a part of it," Fisher said after running behind the convoy of vehicles that is leading the coast-to-coast torch relay.

Just after making the turn onto Boulevard de la Cité, Fisher stopped to light a torch held by Jean Labonté, the captain of Canada's national sledge hockey team. Labonté brought the flame into Place de la Cité and, after making his way through a wildly cheering throng, mounted a stage and lit the Olympic cauldron.

Fisher enjoyed his own share of cheers, starting from the moment he climbed into a van that carried the torchbearers to their designated starting points. He was mobbed by fans after his run was done, sharing a keepsake photo with a number of them.

The entire experience brought the Olympic spirit a little closer to Fisher, something he clearly felt as he took his turn carrying the torch.

"Just that I was proud to be Canadian, and the Olympics and everything that it represents," Fisher said when asked afterward about his thoughts as he ran with the torch. "A lot of different things and emotions. I'm very fortunate to do it and it was neat."

There's one moment that might possibly top it — playing for Team Canada at the Vancouver Games. Fisher's hot start with the Senators this season has at least put his name into the conversation for a spot on that team.

"Just that I was proud to be Canadian, and the Olympics and everything that it represents. A lot of different things and emotions. I'm very fortunate to do it and it was neat." - Mike Fisher
"That would be even better," Fisher said about the prospect of suiting up for Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics. "It would be a dream come true if I was able to put the Canadian jersey on (in Vancouver)."

The torch relay will spend the weekend in Ottawa-Gatineau, with three other members of the Senators organization taking part in it. Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray will carry the flame from the Alexandra Bridge into Ottawa around 12:10 p.m. on Saturday. Then on Sunday morning, the relay will wind its way down Palladium Drive past Scotiabank Place, with Bill Courchaine, the Sens' director of sales and corporate partnership, carrying the torch at 8:40 a.m.

On Monday at about 7 a.m,, Senators president Cyril Leeder takes the torch down King Edward Avenue in downtown Ottawa, between Laurier Avenue East and Osgoode Street.

The 106-day relay, which involves 12,000 torchbearers, will visit more than 1,000 Canadian communities. Traversing in excess of 45,000 kilometres, it is the longest torch relay in Olympic history, culminating in the opening ceremony of the Vancouver Games on Feb. 12.

The following article by Bruce Garrioch appeared in the Ottawa Sun before Fisher carried the torch:

Mike Fisher hopes he doesn’t flame out carrying the Olympic torch through Gatineau Friday night.

“I’m going to have do some training this week. I haven’t run that far in a while,” the Senators centre joked about his 300-metre opportunity of a lifetime.

GM Bryan Murray gets his chance Saturday; on Monday it will be team president Cyril Leeder.

Fisher will become only the second NHLer to carry the Vancouver-bound torch after Sidney Crosby did the honours last month in his hometown of Cole Harbour, N.S.

A grateful Fisher didn’t think he’d ever get the chance.

“It’s an honour for me and it’s exciting,” said Fisher, who will receive the torch from the Preservation Centre at about 6:50 p.m. and carry it along du Carrefour Blvd. to the intersection of de la Cite Blvd.

Murray, who will receive the torch at 12:10 p.m. Saturday as the relay crosses the Alexandra Bridge to St. Patrick St., was surprised to be given the opportunity.

“I’m pleased and honoured to be one of a large team of people who have had the opportunity,” he said. “I take with pride that I’m able to participate. It’s a great event.”

Of course, Fisher wouldn’t mind seeing the Olympic torch again while suiting up for Team Canada in February. His strong play has certainly put him on the radar screen for executive director Steve Yzerman, but Fisher is realistic about his chances.

“It’d be a nice surprise if that (playing for Canada) ever happened, but I’m just focused on what I’ve got to do (with the Senators),” said Fisher. “It’s so hard to make the team. You never know really. I’m probably a longshot, but who knows?

With 13 goals, Fisher has already equalled his total from last season. He also has 12 assists in 28 games. He is skating better, shooting the puck more and, as always, is diligent in his own end.

“I feel like I’m playing pretty good and I’ve just got to keep that going,” said Fisher. “That’s kind of my focus. I’m not (worrying) about anything else right now.”

There was talk Yzerman was in the building last night, but he was actually at home in Detroit flipping through channels on his hockey package.

Fisher, who is likely in competition for a spot with Flyers centre Mike Richards, said he isn’t sure if the fact he can play wing will help.

“I know I can play both. Maybe that helps, but who knows?” asked Fisher. “I just want to play as hard as I can.”

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

It Won't Rain Always

Janet Paschal is one of my favourite singers. Check out this YouTube video of Janet singing a powerful song, It Won't Rain Always.

I needed to hear this song today. I trust that as you listen to Janet pouring out her heart...your spirit will be refreshed and renewed by His Spirit, the blessed Holy Spirit.

Thank you, Cathy Simpson,(from Melodies and Hymnsongs) for pointing me to this song.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Quotables - Here & There

If God wants us "home" no doctor can keep us here and if God wants us here no disease can take us "home". - John Piper

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Treasures Unseen

Recently our son Matthew and I attended a Greater Vision concert in Pickering, Ontario. The tight harmonies and godly living of this Southern Gospel trio have endeared themselves to many Christians.

That night Greater Vision sang a song that I hadn't heard before and it really ministered to my tired and hurting spirit. The song entitled Treasures Unseen speaks of those hidden, eternal treasures that the children of God possess even when the riches of this world have evaded them.

Click here to enjoy Greater Vision's rendition of this great song. Gerald Wolfe is playing the keyboard, Rodney Griffin is playing the bass guitar and their great, new tenor Jacob Kitson does a marvelous job hitting the high notes.

Enjoy and let the Spirit of God minister to you.