It’s been a great summer! Thank God for wonderful days to rest, to travel, to visit with family and friends, to hike, and indulge various good summer appetites. The biggies for us this summer were:
- traveling from Cranbrook to Prince George together through the Okanagan after a satisfying conclusion to transition service at the Cranbrook Alliance Church
- visiting with children and grand-children at our house on the July 1st long week-end and beyond
- visiting the leaders of a church in Saskatoon to consider the prospect of transition work there starting in September
- entertaining our three beautiful grand-girls from Calgary at our house for a week, including the chance to see the superb performance of Les Miserables, at our local Playhouse Theatre.
- spending a week in Chicago at the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School auditing a DMin modular course on the Theology, History, and Practice of Evangelism
- having a week or so on our own to get some things done around home, including the purchase of a new vehicle
- traveling to Kelowna to share in the Memorial Service for a dear family friend from our church in North Battleford many years ago
- visiting with friends in Kelowna that we hadn’t been with for years, appreciating God’s special grace in our lives over the years
- traveling to Calgary to have a very nice dinner out with our oldest daughter Heather and her husband Josh, listening to them share the lows and highs of their terrible flood experience
- traveling on to Saskatoon to visit with staff of the church I look forward to working with this fall, and visiting with Grandma C, an old family friend from our days of service at the Westgate Alliance Church
- travelling on to Ashern, Manitoba for a weekend to participate in an extended family reunion on my father’s side, and seeing the area where I had grown up 55 years ago — along with two of my brothers and their wives
- returning via Highway 16 to visit good friends in North Battleford and then on to St. Albert to spend a couple of nights and a day with our daughter Heidi and her husband and family.
- returning to Prince George just in time to welcome our second daughter, Leanne and her husband Ryan, to our house for a couple of days.
- getting ready for my work in Saskatoon in September
- entertaining various friends in Prince George whom we hadn’t seen for awhile
- celebrating our 43rd Wedding Anniversary with a night out at one of our favourite local restaurants, the White Goose.
- preparing for, and sharing in, the AGM of Second Wind Ministries while also visiting with the friends who have been such a vital part of this organization
- taking in a visit from my nephew Jeremy Drewlo and his wife Tracy and their children while they were on their way back to work at Hartley Bay for the school season, and
- helping good friends from India move to, and dedicate their first home here in Prince George after moving here from Oxford University in England four years ago.
Yes, it’s been a very full summer but one that has been filled with many wonderful experiences of reminiscing, enjoying our family, as well as the beauty of the region in which we’ve been blessed to live. I think there is no doubt that through it all, Carolyn and I have grown deeper in our love and appreciation for one another and all the ways that God has blessed our lives. We feel so grateful for the family and friends He has brought into our lives as well as for the relatively good health that we both enjoy. We have had many good hikes and dog-walks this summer in the beauty that surrounds us here.
We are now within hours of leaving again to travel to Saskatoon to get me settled into the place where I will live while I serve the church in Saskatoon. Carolyn is coming along for my introduction to the suite and the church. She will return from time to time, no doubt, but for the most part, during each of my two weeks away every month, she will take care of things (and our dog, Charlie) at home while she also takes some time to be a Teacher-on-Call in some of the schools of the District. Between time, we hope to travel a bit to visit with family and friends, and spend time just enjoying our church and community in Prince George.
As the fall journey begins, it’s easy to get a bit anxious about all the demands of moving into new and unknown responsibilities. But as I have thought and prayed about the prospect of this new adventure, the words of Matthew 11:28 – 30 have come to mind, Come to me all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly and the burden I give you is light (NLT).
I’ve come to the conclusion that the challenges of the days ahead are best handled by giving them over, one at a time, to Jesus. He is more than capable of carrying the weight of my cares. My part is to trust Him with each burden to see what He will do as I engage my life with Him in the process. That is what it means, I think, to take His yoke upon me. It is to move forward in the work that He has for me through constant fellowship with Him. It means identifying myself with Him in the burden of His heart of the world’s salvation. I know as I engage with Him in this way, I will certainly find out more about His gracious and humble ways, and that walking under His yoke need not be difficult. It is by this means that I expect that things are going to work out okay — as they have so often in the past.