Ice fishing with Greg

Ice Fishing with Greg

On occasion of my youngest brother, Greg, turning 52 I am posting this picture which is taken on the ice at Dickie Lake probably in 1970.  That would make me almost 8 years old and Greg almost 4 years old as we are both February birthdays.

If you look at our fishing rods, mine is straight and Greg’s is crooked like a stick, because, well… it is a stick.  Did someone tie some mono-filament or maybe the older black nylon fishing line on the end?  Maybe… but twouldn’t really be necessary as we weren’t going to be catching any fish that winter’s day.  I’m guessing that the bait was a small chunk of bacon as worms would have been scarce that time of year and we just always had dad’s bacon available.

Without any doubt we had a childhood that would be hard to duplicate in these days.  The monastic solitude of a winter day at the cottage would not be destroyed by access to the internet, by television or even a fish-finder that might tell us to save our bacon the fish were nowhere to be found.  These were the days that if you had a dad to chop a hole in the ice and some good wet packing snow to make snowmen with then you had everything you needed to keep you occupied, well at least until mom called us for lunch.

Greg, you’ve had the privilege and responsibility to be that dad to your four girls.  I’m quite sure you’ve done a good job in spite of all the distractions that the 21st century muddled our minds with.  We can’t go back to that simpler time, but if there was a time machine and we just had a day, I’d love to go back to the cottage in 1970 and go ice fishing with Greg.

Lives enabled pure

It is a Saturday morning and I am so well situated on a wooden lounger next to a most elegant lake and it is quiet except for the hum of traffic on Rue de la Parc Lafontaine and the footsteps of the occasional jogger.

CarreSaintLouisVectorTomorrow at this time I’ll be singing “I am souled out”, for that is the song that Jireh uses as Julien balances the individual mike levels and then the section levels. Tomorrow is work, at the “Lanaudière” festival, and the pleasure of performing, but today, in a swap for Sunday, is reflection and satisfaction in God’s blessings.

I read scripture daily and this morning, instead of the usual breakfast table or living room setting, I took the Bible down Prince Arthur to Carré Saint-Louis, that most Français of Montreal parks and sat next to the two-tiered fountain and opened the Psalms. I have a fountain psalm – one of my very favourites, Psalm 87, but this morning I stuck with where I am in the structure of my read-in-a-year program: Psalm 140; and then Solomon dedicating the temple (and preaching a really good sermon) in 2 Chronicles 6 and 7; and Jesus teaching a lawyer the meaning of the word “neighbour” in Luke 10; and Paul, about controlling my body in 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 (NIV). “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.” All of that – all 4 readings and the Psalm that sprang to my heart in view of the fountain that says “we belong” – spoke to me this morning. God gives us his Holy Spirit. Being holy is my calling, and it looks entirely like Jesus. “Pure” is my word of reflection for this year et, le voilà, there it is, just like that, God’s Holy Spirit, teaching me what pure looks like in all 4 readings. His Holy Spirit, convicting me and showing me the better way.

And there’s even more in store – God speaks through nature and I have Annie Dillard along as an interpreter of that. I have 3 fruits, bought on the way, with me. A fig from the near East, framboises provenant du St-Joseph-du-Lac, and half of a dragon fruit from the Far East. May God’s fruit which comes from lives-enabled-pure be in evidence here in Québec and throughout the whole earth. Selah.


My thought walking toward bus station in TO (with Health App on brand new iPhone counting my footsteps – 1742, apparently):

Will I spend as much effort in integrating with the triune God as I will integrating my Mac Mini with iPhone and iPad

I chose a word of the year for 2015, the very first word sung in the très catchy Jireh tune “Real Love”…which is…sing it, women…’Pure’.

Going to need some of the ‘Pure’ to get in on the special thing that God the Father, God the Spirit and Jesus have going. But no prior creds needed. Pure is best left to in house training…how would I do pure without the 3 enabling?

Excited about the phone calls now coming up on my Mac mini screen and all, but at the same time I can aspire to Pure, and integration with the Most High, “the God with us” and the Counsellor.

Watch my footsteps, Lord, and see if there be any evil way in me.

Wash me with hyssop and I shall be whiter than snow.


Pure 2015

There are two blogs that I’ve subscribed to so that each time these talented bloggers write something, I get it in my email inbox.  One of those blogs is called Obscure CanLit Mama and this blog’s writer, who is also a published fiction and short story writer, chooses a word of the year for each year.  These are words that have the quality of being meditatable (not a word, I’m most sure), like a mantra, and words that empower life.

After Obscure CanLit Mama opened up her comments so that her readers could share their words-of-the-year, I posted a comment, choosing a word of the year for 2015 and sharing it in that forum.  My post was more than a paragraph, before I edited it back, so I cut and paste the superfluous paragraphs not appropriate to the comment section and am posting them here as today’s blog post:

Instead of just being a spectator on this blog (as I am most days) I, too, am going to choose a word of the year for 2015. Can’t say I’ve reflected on this for the probably necessary days, but the very first word of the song “Real Love” on Jireh Gospel Choir’s new album “Get Up” is pure. [Full disclosure, I am a singer in Jireh and am married to Carol Bernard, the director]. That’s my word for 2015 that I want to explore and that I want God to work into my life. Funny that ‘pure’ is set prominently as first word in a song that was perhaps gospel song writer extraordinaire Stephen Lewis’ first foray into writing radio-friendly lyrics.

The lyrics go ‘Pure, kind, something I have inside of me, joy, unspeakable each time I think of everything, you’ve done in my life…’ Somehow those beginning words set Real Love off on a good track. Like the list of the fruits of the spirit it makes me want this in my life.

On my next trip to the library I’ll start by exploring the etymology (I hope that’s the word) of ‘pure’. How was the word first used? What’s its history? But the all-important part of this exercise, my first time having a word of the year, is, “What will the concept of ‘pure’ produce in my life?”. Only good things, I’m sure.

Stay tuned throughout 2015 as I reflect on ‘pure’.