Monthly Archives: February 2015

Jiminy-Cricket

Hi there,

I was hacked!  My web provider automatically put me on “lock-down” and thanks to K–, my site is now back up and running.  A big “Thank you, thank you, thank you and God’s abundant blessings on you!!!”

This whole hacking system “they” have now sounds absolutely ridiculous.  Apparently, our church website, which was also hacked was selling fake handbags.  Given our economic state, selling handbags maybe isn’t such a bad idea, just not fake handbags…We are Christian after all…(I can see heads nodding in agreement…)

I also received the news that we are indeed closing our Downtown site.  Oddly enough, when I read the email, I felt anxious and nervous.  Two feelings I did not expect to have.  I think that must be natural enough, when one’s future is up in the air.

It just kind of feels like there is too much up in the air right now.  The news is awful.  I almost dread going to the gym.  Christians are being heavily persecuted in the Middle East. Not sure if this is something that is heating up, or if the media has just decided to show us what’s been happening for years…

One person said that God must “prepare them” for the persecution.  I think there must also be an abundant measure of strength and grace given under such severe conditions.

And yet, I have to believe there must be some good that is coming out of it, that will come out of it.  It almost feels like a test.  Jesus told this parable:

“One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’” Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”  (Luke 18:1-8, NLT)

Maybe it is time for us to “get up in God’s face” and pray like CRAZY!  Maybe our united prayers will quicken His return and bring justice to a world, that is in desperate need of the Perfect Judge, and in particular our Christian brothers and sisters, whose lives are at stake.

 Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines “Faith” as:

1
a :  allegiance to duty or a person :  loyalty;  b (1) :  fidelity to one’s promises (2) :  sincerity of intentions
2
a (1) :  belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) :  belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion;  b (1) :  firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) :  complete trust
3
:  something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially :  a system of religious beliefs <the Protestant faith>
The word “faith” comes from, “Middle English feith, from Anglo-French feid, fei, from Latin fides; akin to Latin fidere to trust — more at bide;”
I like the Latin definition, “to trust”.  We are to trust that God, who is in control, is indeed in control.
“To bide one’s time” is to “wait for”.  This phrase sounds like we are passively waiting on God, but this is not how Christians respond.
We do not stand passively by, although I suppose many churches and us Christians do.
Let’s pray like CRAZY!  Let’s be like that persistent widow, who would not give the judge a moment’s peace.  I believe our prayers will move heaven and earth.
And, even if we do not physically see any results by our prayers, we can have faith that God has heard us, that things have shifted in the spiritual realm.
And, when we wake up each morning, believing that Jesus is one day closer to returning!
Blessings,
Ellie

Happy 50th Anniversary, Maple Leaf

Greetings!

Yesterday, I thought of something funny after posting the blog.  Valentine’s Day for me sometimes feels more like the Valentine’s Day Massacre.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the clip online from the movie Some Like It Hot.  “Say good-night Charlie…”   Anyway, maybe more funny to me than to you…

On a totally random note, I have just discovered that it is the 50th anniversary of our flag.  Here are some fun facts:

This was our traditional flag:

Old Flag

You’ll never believe me on this one, but the idea of a new flag in Canada sparked much debate and discussion in Parliament.  They dragged their heels on it, ‘cos they couldn’t get their s–t together.

And, then along came Lester B. Pearson, who “declared that Canada would have its own flag within two years” and so we did! (http://www.canadahistory.com/sections/Politics/Symbols/Flag.html) 

How exciting that a Prime Minister/Politician kept his word.  It kind of makes you feel warm and tingly inside (which is super wonderful since it’s like -40 with the wind chill today!)

“The design eventually chosen which was approved by resolution of the House of Commons on December 15, 1964 by a vote of 163 to 78, after thirty-three days of debate, and endorsed by resolution of the Senate. On January 28 in the following year, the Queen signed the official proclamation and on February 15 the red and white maple leaf was hoisted on the flag staff of the Peace Tower in Ottawa for the first time (same source as above).

I got a ride home today after church, and as we were driving along, I saw a family of four walking along.  I looked at them and said, “Oh my gosh, I can’t even believe that people would be out today…”  Then I noticed the lady was holding a small Canadian flag.  I added, “Oh, their tourists, God bless them.”  Apparently there was something in my tone that made the other people in the car bust a gut laughing at my comment.

I had no idea what was so funny…Tourists are getting frost-bitten!  They might never come back to visit us again!!!  This is serious business…no laughing matter.  🙂

I think I’ll do a short blog today.  Mostly because I’m just plain out of thoughts.  (I am not having my best of days.  I forgot to put my regular glasses on, and then suddenly realized almost half-way through church that I was still wearing my sunglasses.  One person asked if my glasses were always dark, and I said, “Yes”. )

Brain freeze is REAL!  Or, Ellie is a RockStar!  Let me tell you, that one rum and coke really went to my head last night!  I’m done with rum!!  If you see me running around inside buildings with my sunglasses on, you’ll know I fell off the wagon…Please intervene!

And now, back to Canada.

It seems fitting to end the tribute to Canada with the last verse of our National Anthem – from the original version.  It’s a prayer, and I think Canada could use some prayer…

Ruler Supreme, who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our Dominion Thy loving care
Help us to find, O God, in Thee,
A lasting, rich reward,
As waiting for the Better Day
We ever stand on guard.

Blessings!
Ellie
Trivia Question:  Who composed the tune of the Canadian National Anthem?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The True North

Hello there,

I discovered that I may have been wrong in my assumption that most Canadians know about the reality of what First Nation’s people face, etc.

I was having dinner with a couple of friends last week, and one of the friends said she had conversations with people (Canadians), who didn’t have a clue!

I have no idea how to tell which group of Canadians is the norm.

Living in Ottawa, Canada’s Capital, we are inundated with political this and political that.  I for one, don’t appreciate it all that much, but it makes me keenly aware of lobby groups, protests on Parliament Hill, think-tanks…It’s kind of hard to get away from when you live in the Capital.

So, I really have no way to gauge the climate of the country.  Poor Winnipeg has been reeling over their “Most racist city in Canada” ‘award?’  Not quite the right word.  But, how do the rest of us fare?  I mean, really?

In “The truth about racism in Canada,” Paul Beddows writes, “Canada, unlike the United States, has had an official policy of multiculturalism for years. This means that immigrants are allowed, even encouraged to maintain their culture. They are, however, requested to leave the politics of their homeland behind.”

Mr. Beddows seems to be a kind of a herald to multiculturalism; although, he does say, “We used to be quite smug about not being a racist society, especially in the 50’s and 60’s when we saw what was going on in the United States. The truth of the matter, however, was that we did not have any minority groups of a sufficient size to be racist against.”

I remember being quite innocent of this fact myself.  I grew up in a predominantly White Anglo-Saxon Protestant rural area.  (I didn’t even fit in, since I did not have the ASP part of the equation, just the White part.)

Anyway, I made the mistake of saying that we didn’t have a racial problem at our high school.  I mean, there were like 2 Black guys, maybe a couple Italians, 1 Greek, and quite a handful of Chinese students.

A guy spoke up and said, “That’s because Whites are the majority, there is no threat.”

I was disappointed in us and probably much deflated.  It was a good lesson to learn though.

Beddows goes on to say that “The Native Indians are a special case. Canada’s treatment of its aboriginal people has been shameful…Canada had an official policy of destroying native culture and re-educating their children during the early part of the century. Children were taken away from their parents and placed in residential schools, where their culture was essential stripped from them. It was a kind of cultural genocide” (http://immigrationguides.com/content/view/122/74/).

Does formal education help to bridge the gap between ignorance to knowledge?

According to Stats Canada, “Between 1999 and 2009, the proportion of adults aged 25 to 64 with tertiary education [“tertiary” meaning college or university education] in Canada increased from 39% to 50%”(http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/81-599-x/81-599-x2012008-eng.htm).

I am not sure we could definitively say that it does though.  I am sure some of you know highly educated racists!

And, when I look at my own parents, my mom and step-dad (my bio-dad is totally racist), education does not play a factor at all.  Both my mom and step-dad never graduated high school, yet they are not racist.  In fact, my step-dad’s best friend was Aboriginal.  Sadly, he died in a car accident when my step-dad was around 18-19 years old, so I never got to meet him.

There are no easy answers, and I certainly do not claim to have any revelation or insight.

Like I said in my last post – let’s just be kind to one another.  Do something kind for a person who does not look like you today!  🙂

Blessings,

Ellie

Trivia Question:  a) Who refers to another person as a  “Heartless Guttersnipe”,  and b)
to whom is it spoken?  🙂

 

 

 

The Horror

Hello Friends,

“The Horror!  The Horror!”  Does anyone know where that quote came from originally?  Well, I happened upon the answer to this question several years ago in my Modern British Literature class (how exciting).  It was awful!

For one, the professor insulted my faith (Christianity) and called it, “Bollocks” or “Nonsense” or something of that sort.  What he didn’t realize is that he also offended the Jews and the Muslims.  We kind of share the Torah!!!

He then insulted one of our most beloved poems in Canada…In Flander’s Fields…At least he apologized for this faux-pas.  I’m still waiting for his apology  on the faith insult…

Anyway, “The Horror!  The Horror!” is from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness,  a really upbeat book on the slave trade in the Congo.  (Hardly!!)

What I do remember from the story is that the main character is on his way to meet, the ‘big guy’ in the area, the one with all the power.  He is greatly feared in the Congo!  And, no wonder.  As we approach his home, we see posts coming up from the ground, encircling his property, with heads on them.

I kind of wonder if Joseph Conrad got this idea from the Brits.  When Shakespeare arrived in London, he would have had to pass along the London Bridge.  I could be wrong here, but I think it was the only way into the city of London at the time.

Anyway, there were heads of traitors lined up all along the London Bridge, just to make sure you “towed the party line.”    GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!  (Just in case, the current monarchy is thinking of revamping this practice…)

I had really not intended to write such a depressing blog today, but it’s bloody cold out there, AND I saw on the news how Aboriginal people suffer discrimination when they go to White doctors.   Most just stop going to doctors altogether because of subversive racism.

The lady being interviewed said this subversive racism is the worst kind of racism.  My brain immediately said, “No, SLAVERY is the worst kind of racism ever…”

With all due respect, I get that she is trying to make a point. We do have a racial problem, especially towards the Aboriginal peoples.   (As slavery is a stain on the United States, our treatment of  the Aboriginal people is a stain on Canada.)

And, yes, we do have to admit that we have a problem.  This is the first step.  I think most Canadians get this point already.

Obviously, we have a long way to go in making amends to the Native population, but there are those who are working within the system and outside of the system, via, think-tanks, who are making gains.

Maybe we just need some patience?  It will take time to undo the wrongs and injustices.

Ms. Oprah said the world would be a much better place if we all just loved each other a little bit more.  (I am paraphrasing.)  I tend to agree.  It starts with the individual.

The unfortunate reality is there will always be haters, but we don’t have to pay them any mind.  We can go about our business loving people, even the haters, which will really get their goat.  (ha ha ha!!)

I imagine most of the haters are negative, glass half-empty kind of people anyway…That said, there are also probably some lovers who are cynical, glass half-empty kind of people, but the thing that separates them is their hearts.

One is full of bitterness, anger, resentment.

The other is full of forgiveness, mercy, grace.

I would rather hang out with the latter.

And on that happy note, here’s a little Marlon Brando for you!  Apparently, America’s best screen/film actor in the history of movie-making…”Stella!”  (Can you guess where that one is from?)

Blessings,

Ellie