Thursday, June 19, 2008

June 7 to 19 Posts - originally on Northview Pentecostal Church Posts

I Believe – From Wilma Smith – June 19, 2008
A Birth Certificate shows that we were born
A Death Certificate shows that we died
Pictures show that we lived!
Have a seat . . . Relax . . . And read this slowly.

I Believe...
That just because two people argue,
it doesn't mean they don't love each other.
And just because they don't argue,
it doesn't mean they do love each other.

I Believe...
That we don't have to change friends if
we understand that friends change.

I Believe...
That no matter how good a friend is,
they're going to hurt you every once in a while
and you must forgive them for that.

I Believe...
That true friendship continues to grow,
even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I Believe...
That you can do something in an instant
that will give you heartache for life.

I Believe...
That it's taking me a long time
to become the person I want to be.

I Believe...
That you should always leave
loved ones with loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.

I Believe...
That you can keep going long
after you think you can't.

I Believe...
That we are responsible for what
we do, no matter how we feel.

I Believe...
That either you control your
attitude or it controls you.

I Believe...
That heroes are the people who
do what has to be done when
it needs to be done,
regardless of the consequences

I Believe...
That money is a lousy way
of keeping score.

I Believe...
That my best friend and I can
do anything or nothing
and have the best time.

I Believe...
That sometimes the people you
expect to kick you when you're down,
will be the ones to help you get back up.

I Believe...
That sometimes when I'm angry
I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn't give me
the right to be cruel.

I Believe...
That maturity has more to do with
what types of experiences you've had
and what you've learned from them
and less to do with how many
birthdays you've celebrated.

I Believe...
That it isn't always enough,
to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes, you have to learn
to forgive yourself.

I Believe...
That no matter how bad your
heart is broken the world
doesn't stop for your grief.

I Believe...
That our background
and circumstances may have
influenced who we are,
but, we are responsible for
who we become.

I Believe...
That you shouldn't be so eager
to find out a secret.
It could change your life Forever.

I Believe...
Two people can look at the exact same
thing and see something totally different.

I Believe...
That your life can be changed in
a matter of hours by people
who don't even know you.

I Believe...
That even when you think you
have no more to give, when
a friend cries out to you -
you will find the strength to help.

I Believe...
That credentials on the wall do not
make you a decent human being.

I Believe...
That the people you care about most
in life are taken from you too soon.

I Believe...
That you should send this to all of the
people that you believe in, I just did.

"The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything."

Age is only a number – June 18, 2008
"Age is only a number, a cipher for the records. A man can't retire his experience. He must use it. Experience achieves more with less energy and time." ~ Bernard Mannes Baruch ~

I love this quote as I exit my full time ministry at our church. The semi retirement mode is upon me. The long weeks and many hours at times – are now fading and a whole new world is appearing. The new world has people actually asking about my experience and finding value in what the past was in my life.

At the time I was living through the ‘experience’ – I often shuddered and wished that I wasn’t there. Now I am happy that I went through it…and even more happy that I am through it and not back there living it.

I am also delighted for the good experiences too. They are almost as many as the not so good ones. But the good ones left less scars…and torn parts…which are now my medals of honour.

I read the following of Bernard Mannes Baruch….
Born: 1870 ADDied: 1965 AD, at 94 years of age.
1970 - Born 19th of August in Camden, South Carolina.
1897 - He married Annie Griffin.
1889 - Baruch attended in City College of New York.
1923 - Finished LLD in Williams College.
1918-1919 - Served as U.S. War Industries Board.
1918-1919 - Chairman of U.S. War Industries Board.
1941-1945 - Worked for the U.S. Office of War Information.
1946-1947 - He served as UN Official UN Atomic Energy Commission.
1965 - Bernard Mannes Baruch died on 20th of June.

He was only 94 when he died…lived and worked through two world wars and then saw all of the other small wars the world has witnessed.

Reading some things of the man’s life has left me wondering where I fit as well. My experience is rich. I need to pass it on and on and on….

Blogging does that for me. Out of the daily routine I find wonder. Out of the pain and problems come deeper experiences than I ever have had through the years of pleasure before. I wish now that I would have blogged my entire life….

Pondering the wonder of “Experience” and savoring the memories today.

How about you? Have you ever done a “Stock Taking of All Experiences”?

Today as I prepare for my last Sermon at Northview – the flood of experiences are coming back by the millions…where will I start and where ever will I finish? Few people will ever have the wonder of the opportunity that I am being presented with…. WOW!

Age is only a number…. Hmmmm?

~ Pastor Murray Lincoln ~

Famous Quotes from Baruch, Bernard Mannes
"During my eighty-seven years I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolutions. But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual or the ability to think."
"I was eleven, then I was sixteen. Though no honors came my way, those were the lovely years."
"Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why."
"If you have made a mistake, cut your losses as quickly as possible."
When The Answer Comes – WOW! – June 17, 2008
For the past few days I have been looking for a huge answer…from an extremely small and far away place. The place I am looking for the answer from is over 23,682 miles away.
At our church in August we are connecting with a Beth Moore Seminar entitled “Living Proof Live 2008”. Beth Moore is an excellent speaker and very popular with her ability to communicate truth. She holds her audience’s attention with her wit and wisdom.

Beth will be in our church by a unique connection via Satellite – The Galaxy 25 Satellite that is situated the 23,682 miles up in the sky way over Houston, Texas direction some where. From our area that means it is 217.3 degrees West at an elevation of 35.6 degrees and a rotation of 18.1 degrees. The Satellite is not large – perhaps something the size of a family’s van – and is hanging there in space doing a continual orbit along with the speed of our earth’s rotation.

For the non technical people, a signal is sent up to the Satellite from an earth station, then the Satellite catches it and then redirects it back to earth and any receiver that is ready to receive it. The signal is very straight proceeding down to earth to the waiting and tuned Satellite Dish. By ‘tuned’ I mean directed or aimed perfectly at the Satellite above.

The connection from up above to down below is not easy. It requires some special adjusting and also some special equipment carefully designed and aimed.

How hard can it be?

Well come back to earth and walk out on a football field. Stand at one end with a long stick that is able to reach along ways out across the field – say 100 yards or 300 feet – to the other end. Imagine that you grab your end of stick lifting it up and then get ready to lift the other end of the stick up carefully and steadily until it clears the ground. In this case imagine the stick will not bend and the far end rises at the same speed that the hand held end does.

Your goal is to move the other end of the stick and place it 10 yards – 30 feet to the right of where it is and inside a small space of 6 inches square in the exact center. The stick cannot touch the ground outside the square and if at all possible it MUST BE in the exact center!

Tuning a Satellite Dish is a wee bit harder than that. The place that you need to hit is 23,682 miles away and only as big a family van. Actually the emitting signal point is smaller than that. One tiny move on the ground under your hands can be 5,000 miles left or right, top or bottom of the Satellite hanging so far in space.

Here is how you do it…
First – open the box of the packed Satellite Dish which is in about 100 pieces. Follow the instructions and tighten all the nuts and bolts.

Second – Make sure the mast of the Dish is exactly at a 90 degree angle from the ground. After it is assembled connect the wires to the receiver and then the receiver to the Television.

Third – Turn it all on and watch the screen for possible signal reception. But just before all that comes the code and the correct numbers that tell the receiver which Satellite you are looking for (I forgot to mention that there are hundreds of Satellites hanging above our earth sending signals down – everywhere!).

Fourth – Begin moving the Dish a little this way and then that way…suddenly there is an indication that you are close… and then BINGO – you hit it! It is like that special moment when the fish bites on your line. You have it and success is yours.

It wasn’t quite that easy. Remember I said that it took some days to do this. The first equipment that we had was not good enough. The equipment was not getting the signal – or rather got it but couldn’t understand what it had received.

With the change of a small amount of the right pieces of what was needed – we had success.

How much is this like life….?

I have been asking for an answer for a long, long time – from a long ways away. It seems like my prayer just never gets there. Yet it has and signal has come back to me…but my equipment isn’t tuned – or maybe even all wrong…my personal equipment that is…the stuff inside of me… hmmmm?

In another sense it is a whole lot like life. We face problems that are massive. We need help. Then we try every thing we can do to find an answer in all the wrong places…aiming at some thing that is there but we are 1000s of miles off course.

God isn’t 23,682 miles away…but it can seem like it at times. In fact maybe it feels that he is so far away that we will never hear from him.

In the days prior to connecting to the signal I found that I was in the right area but because the equipment was all wrong and even too old – the signal couldn’t be interpreted by the receiver.

Often there are pieces of my personal life that are not right. There is sin that blocks the signal. There are parts that need to be made new…or changed all together…for me that includes the habits that get in the way of the clear signal arriving to the heart of my life.

When I have made the changes and then tuned in…WOW! The signal comes loud and clear.

Perhaps today you feel like someone that has lost the signal. Or maybe you once had the signal and now it is off line.

God wants to talk to you clearly. His signal is coming to you all the time. He only needs for you to tune in your Spiritual Dish… and then make sure that the equipment is up to date and clean. He is sending right now…are you receiving?

When the answer comes…WOW!
~ Pastor Murray Lincoln ~

The Little Nest– June 16, 2008
On top of the hill, near the property line is lone tree. When we walked by the tree the other day there was a gentle breeze blowing. In one of the branches there was a small nest with a little bird sitting in it.

Within an hour there was a violent storm that pelted our area. It nearly tore the umbrella from my hands as I ran to the vehicle. It pounded hard against the windows on the way home….

Today it is sunshine… and there is sparkling grass with the last evidence of the hard rain.

The nest is still there and so is she.

Man oh man what love that must be. No matter what the storms are like – that little creature is committed to the best for her little ones.

I can only imagine what was going through her mind. These eggs matter and nothing will get me off of them – not even this wind and water.

The amazing thing too is the ability that the small bird had to weave the nest so well around that branch. Who taught her to do that?

The Bible states clearly
Luke 12:6-7 (New International Version)
6Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Today is a new day….

~ Pastor Murray Lincoln ~

3 Years by Jessika Van Spronsen– June 15, 2008
Yesterday marked a huge day here in the Van Spronsen house. Yesterday, the 14th of June is exactly 3 years since our Jonah has been home!! What an amazing 3 years it has been!

When he was born, they didn't know if he would live through the night, and he did, then they told us he would be home in 3 weeks, but he wasn't. It was touch and go for so long! Wow! 3 years!! Where has the time gone?

Jonah has never been hospitalized in 3 years for an illness, which is very rare for all kids who have di-george AND a tracheotomy! He has learned how to do something they said he never would--walk. He has learned to speak, another feat they said he would never do. Albeit it is with his hands, but--he did it! He is getting so much wiser as the days go by. He now has a special machine called a 'Tango' that he uses to communicate with. Once on, this machine works as fast as Jonah's mind does, and allows him to communicate up to thousands of phrases and words, he can even speak like SpongeBob Squarepants if he wants to!

What has 3 years meant to all of you? To us, it has meant family togetherness, overcoming MANY obstacles, and living to tell the tale. A huge commitment of love, dedication and trust in the Almighty that everything was going as planned. Some days there are glitches, but most days there are many humourous stories to tell about. God is good, and He sure knew what He was doing when He gave us this special little bundle to take home.

I can remember the day like it was yesterday, bathing him in the morning, dressing him in 'going home clothes' which consisted of a long sleeve button up collard shirt that was blue, a pair of beige pants, a pair of beige socks, and beige SHOES!! The first time ever he had worn shoes!! And a matching knitted sweater vest! Man was he sharp looking!

I gathered up the remained of his blankets and toys, and held my son before gently placing him into the nurses arms to say goodbye. We stood there for about an hour crying on the fifth floor, taking in the fact that HE WAS ACTUALLY GOING HOME!!! Then it was down to the 3rd floor where it had all started, we were so excited!! We cried there as well.

Then we left the hospital, all 3 of us, our little family. Jonah's first time ever going outside. The air was beautiful, it was 19 degrees, and he was taking in everything.

We headed home for a HUGE surprise for Nana. We headed straight through to Lindsay, where we were supposed to go for dinner that night. We had kept it a secret that Jonah was coming home to Nana.

When she opened the door, there he was, and she gathered him in her arms, and has yet to let him go.

She thought we had finally had enough and signed him out of the hospital Against Medical Advice (AMA). Haha!!

Oh what a day. That night, I tucked my son into HIS OWN CRIB, IN HIS OWN ROOM, WITH HIS OWN BLANKETS, IN OUR HOUSE!!! What a memory that will always be!! The rest is history, but not only has each day of the last 3 enriched our lives, it has given us such a cool perspective on what life really is all about!! It isn't about the possessions you have, or the money you have, it's about the richness you have in family. It's about cherishing each day you have your family home with you, healthy, laughing and playing. I think that is pretty cool!!

Jessika, George, Jonah and Samsun!!

The Rain Stopped – June 14, 2008
Today – I can make an honest evaluation of the events of this week. Again I have watched how God has a plan for everything. I have also felt and personally witnessed that most everything is better when the rain stops. In fact we have to have the rain in order to see the growth come.

We have a pot full of dirt sitting beside our side deck. In the pot is huge bulb that my wife purchased from a green house. It was a small extravagance at the time.

When we returned home and she had the bulb planted – but nothing happened for a long time. It seemed that the extravagance of the purchase was a dud.

Then it rained and rained. In fact for a number of days it rained with a few weeks going by. Nothing came in the pot…only small weeds that had managed to keep their place in the soil.

This past week the soil was pushed aside and the little giant is beginning to show himself. He is now pointing skyward and has a brand new leaf. The bragging on the package says something about an elephant ear plant… with leaves about a meter in length…or more. Its warning was clear that it could reach up to almost two meters in height.

This little guys needed rain lots of it and then it needed hot sunshine…almost to the extreme. It needed two conditions that made the rest of us uncomfortable.

In yesterday’s posting I referred to the feeling of having a cloud above your head and it is about to rain. It tends to make you freeze and make choices that change your life.

This afternoon I am doing one of the last official functions at our church as a Senior Pastor by performing a Marriage Ceremony for a great young couple. I have come to know them as friends and respect them deeply.

The unique thing about their lives is the two different tragedies that they have risen from. In both their lives the circumstances were very stormy and life was rough. The crashing and bashing of their person was unfair. They were ordinary people that reacted and survived. As they described their stories individually it was enough to make you want to cry. How could anyone survive these huge obstacles?

They did survive and on the other side of the trouble they found each other. Today she will receive a man that loves her so very much when she says “I do”. He will receive a beautiful wife and two wonderful kids when he says “I do”.

On the other side of the rain there is life. This is a love story better than anything on television or in the movies. This is real.

The postscript to a week…
I have found again that God has a plan. One person wrote to me stating again a known fact – when God closes one door another will open. I have watched it happen again….and it is happening right now.

Can you hear the squeaky hinges as the door begins to open. I can.

~ Pastor Murray Lincoln ~

PS – I received a kind and caring letter from the “lady” that I met in the LPV carpenter shop(yesterday’s posting). I understand better now. She is good at what she does… There are also a number of issues about volunteering at LPV that have surfaced. In the heat of the moment I “explained some of the pain” of working there…if there would have been no heat… there may never have been an opportunity to suggest…

Something good will happen from it all. The rain has stopped…skies will clear….and there is a tomorrow…

When someone kills the spark inside us – June 13, 2008
The post of yesterday must be balanced with the reality of what happens around many. I am sure that it sounds as if I am always “high” with the things that I do. To balance it I must also confess.

Before I do – you need to see the perspective of people that have had their spark suppressed or even killed.

First – a young boy by the name of Scott. He was totally in enthralled with his Sunday School Teacher Mr. T. Scott was 9 years old. Mr. T. had promised the boys of his class that they were going for a special outing on the next Saturday. Mr. T. had talked it up big time. As the boys went home from their class that Sunday they were so excited – but none as much as Scott. Scott had always wanted to do this activity promised by Mr. T.

Saturday came. Scott was out of bed early. He got his mom up to make his lunch. He dressed himself. Then he went out of the house to wait. He stood in the driveway for a long time waiting for Mr. T.’s car to pull up. An hour went by. His mom checked on him every once in a while. After an hour Scott settled down to sit on the curb and watch the cars turning down his street. More than another hour passed…

His mother had tried over and over again to get him to come in and maybe do something different. Scott refused because Mr. T. had promised.

As she spoke to me the sadness for her son was more than evident.

So as the Minister I had to follow up with Mr. T. Excuse…He had heard from some of the other boys’ parents that they couldn’t go. Then something came up in his own family. He thought that someone would have called Scott that the planned trip was canceled. It was so sad. Mr. T.’s talk was big – but his actions were not.

You can kill the spark inside. Scott’s spark that day died.

Second – a man by the name of W. had given years of great service to his company. He sacrificed his time with his family and his own personal interests to do his best for his company. One day in his mid fifties he arrived at work to find a note inviting him to come into his boss’s office.

As W. described his recollection of his feelings of that meeting I could feel his pain. The boss in his direct way told W. that he was being let go at that very moment. He was to collect any of his personal affects and leave the company’s office. The boss described the close out package that he was to get. The job that W. had was being down sized and other employees that had worked beside W. would be picking up W.’s portion of the work.

As W. drove home to tell his wife that it was all over he told me of the mixed feelings of anger, loss, confusion, hatred, exhaustion, and horrible fear of not knowing what would happen to a 55 year old unemployed worker that had done well all his working life – but now it was over.

As I listened to the story it was evident to both Win and me that one man – or possibly two – had changed the course of the company out of personal interests or a really stupid decision. They had almost destroyed a man’s life and his family in doing so. But the spark that they tried to put out was not their problem.

Third – in our area the GM workers have been parading up and down the road leading into the General Motors Head Office of Canada. A contract was recently settled and signed by the company and the union. Everything was in place for another few years of peace in the labour force. Suddenly the GM officials had announced from a far away office in “GM Heaven” that the entire Truck/Larger vehicle factory was closing and thousands would be losing their jobs on a certain date.

The blame game started. The price of gas was the fault. The government’s tax on the gas was the fault. The Union’s grab for money and the strength of the bargaining position was the fault. The GM Head Office was at fault for not keeping their word. The fact that fewer and fewer people were buying – or were able to buy a larger SUV or a Truck was more likely the problem…. BUT EVERYONE ELSE WAS THE PROBLEM.

After the announcement the hurt was real. Lots of men like my friend W. went home to tell their wife and kids that the good life was over. Soon the family would have no income. Any jobs that might be available in the community would be grabbed by whoever could get them. The spark in the lives of each GM worker from that plant had gone out – actually been snuffed.

Lots of men develop an alcohol problem when they have the spark blown out. Lots of men want to die.

Confession time… oh boy…
For three years I have helped out as a volunteer at Lang Pioneer Village. Yesterday I revealed the “why” of what I do. I wish that I would have waited to Friday the 13th before being so open.

Following the revelation to my world of what I so loved about the experience at LPV – my delight came crashing down.

Yesterday - The small shop had been filled with sparkling eyed children from Grade 3 classes from all over the area. There were over 188 students brought by their teachers yesterday – it was a very full day.

Just after 1 PM there was a lull in the students coming through the doors. I grabbed a sandwich to put down my hunger. As I wiped the last crumb from my face, a lady walked into the small carpenter shop. Coming over to the work bench she quickly zoomed in on the few toys I had set out for kids to enjoy.

You will not really understand what is going on at that moment. It is an 1850s carpenter shop. I have been acting the part of a 1850s carpenter, as a volunteer, helping the kids to see back in time. At the very end I added a portion of the story that described the Day of Rest – Sunday – when children and adults were to do nothing – and it was a boring time. The carpenter had worked hard all week. It was a time when Grandpas, like me, made toys like these...

In about 3 minutes at the end I tell them about toys that were made for kids during the 1850s.

Well it seems that someone didn’t take kindly to my presentation. The “dear lady” addressing me began to let me have it verbally. I was not catching the total impact or what was happening. The toys lying on the bench were part of the infraction I had committed – apparently. The “exhibit” of the carpenter’s shop was defiled with what was laying on the workbench. I was found guilty!

It was then that I asked who the heck she was!? I asked carefully if she was a guest to the LPV – or maybe a parent expert? No she was the most important person a Museum could have – she was the expert that dictated all that was to be in the “display”. I cannot tell you her name or her wonderful position. I can tell you that I felt as if she sat near on the right hand of the “Great Museum God” and I should be frightened to death. I was.

Mustering a wee bit of courage at that moment I kindly told her that I was a volunteer and if she wished they could fire me…. ? ….and I did not appreciate her coming into the middle of what I was doing with the children ….and that they were after all Grade 3 kids…that needed something to keep their attention ( the reason that I had for displaying a few toys…) On top of that my “dear lady”… “YOU HAVE NOT HEARD ANY OF WHAT I HAVE SAID OR WHAT MY PRESENTATION HAD BEEN….”

Unfortunately she let her hand show…one person had complained to her about the toys in the carpenter shop. And she would not tell me who.

The interaction was less than three minutes I am guessing. Another load of kids was pouring in for a time with the old carpenter. But something had happened… the spark died in me. This “dear lady” that came from the “Great Museum God’s” right hand side had killed the carpenter.

Two hours later the spark was dead. I had nothing left to give. And I left the program.

I have discovered again that you can kill the spark in a volunteer, in a host of factory workers, in one man by the name of W. and little boys like Scott.

And personally…. It will be along time before I go to “Museum Heaven” because I cannot face being less than perfect…and I am very much less than perfect – I am a volunteer! The spark went out.

Today I am wondering…. Does anyone have a place for a really good 1850s carpenter that is presently unemployed… This is too much like real life.

~ Pastor Murray Lincoln ~

Each of us has a spark of life inside of us – June 12, 2008

Her name is Ryan. As she bent her knees she had a funny look on her face. In front of her Grade 3 class she was about to do something that she had never done before. There is uncertainty. There is the feeling that someone might laugh at her. Then there is the feeling that because she was the only one that was allowed to do it….she has one up on the others.

You can see the response will be good when the cameras and cell phone cameras are activated…and she is the center of all attention.

The choice of my assistant was good again. This young lady was demonstrating the use of a “yoke” for carrying water two centuries ago…in early Ontario. The “yoke” for those that have never lived 2 centuries ago is a section of tree that is hollowed out to fit over your shoulders. From the yoke there are two ropes hanging down on each side to carry the water pails.

The delight of talking to a group of Grade 3 students is one of the highest points in my life. Their eyes shine and sparkle as they catch the idea that you are talking about. In the moments together I take them back to 1842 and they experience what a Carpenter Shop did way back then.

I came across the following statement that helped me to understand the reason that I do what I do as a volunteer at Lang Pioneer Village

“Each of us has a spark of life inside of us, our highest endeavor ought to be to set off that spark in one another.” ~ Kenny Ausubel

There is nothing like working with children. There is something about the sparkle inside of them that comes alive when you share a story of an idea that tweaks that special place in them.

For years I have been trying to share the spark of life inside of me with everyone that I meet. As a minister it is what I do each week. For the past ten years I have worked at attempting to spark older people in our congregation to catch the ideas and then run with it. But they are just not like the Grade 3s that come to Lang Village.

Older people tend to cross their arms across their chest and state with their intent stare – “I just dare you to try to light my fire… I bet you can’t!”

Children are so different. They want to try it. They are not like adults that are afraid to try it….or refuse to try it because they have made up their minds to remain old and stubborn and stationary and sometimes even miserable.

As you may guess I have watched a number of old men that have given their old wives no end of problems. When I step into to help their old wives need help – they are at their wits end. But even my words will not move them.

The spark in me does little good to ignite the old soggy wood in them.

Yikes that may sound dreary to say the least. I really do appreciate the older folks – I just don’t want to be “older” and lose the spark in my own life. I am finding that if I spend too much time with people that throw water on my spark of life – my spark will sputter and even go out.

It is at that moment that I scramble to find a grandson or granddaughter that is ready for some fun with Grandpa….or I go to Lang Pioneer Village to talk with little people.

Someone asked me to tell them why I was a volunteer at the LPV. That is my secret…I need to keep my own spark alive and well.

Now you may be in need of a spark starter experience. My suggestion is make a wise choice. Find someone or some group that is ready to come alive.

Not long ago I sat in the meeting area of a seniors home with an older gentleman. His eyes twinkled and bounced as we talked. He was very much alive. We laughed together and shared a number of ideas. He asked what I thought about the present reports that were flooding the television at that time of the week. It was so neat listening to him share his ideas.

Not far from where we sat another older gentleman sat in his wheel chair. He was yelling at the care worker that was struggling to make him more comfortable. His curses were abusive to her and the rest of us that had to listen.

What a contrast in two people that were less than 10 feet a part physically…but a million miles a part mentally and spiritually.

I made another important decision that day. I knew who I wanted to be like when I grow up. I want to be like the inspiring and gentle one. The old cursing and yelling one is not who I want to be. I want to be in Grade 3 again.

What about you?

~ Pastor Murray Lincoln ~

The Violence of Rumors – June 9, 2008
A few years back I was part of a group that took some gigantic steps to establish a home for men coming from prison. It was designed as a “transition house” and finally named “New Beginnings”. Men were having great difficulty finding lodging as they left prison and tried to make their way in this community. The group is Peterborough Community Chaplaincy.

We believed in what we were doing. The miraculous way that the house came into our ministry confirmed the good idea was being assisted by God – no not assisted – completely guided by God. The results have been amazing.

This however was not without great difficulty. Within a day of the announcement that the house would be used for helping men from prison – a sign appeared on the front lawn of the neighbor. The sign was a 4 foot by 8 foot piece of plywood with red paint sprayed on the surface declaring that “Ex-Cons coming next door”. To say the least it was unkind and horrible.

If you lived in Peterborough you will remember the weeks following being filled with rumors and stories that raged. The stories and rumors arrived at our city hall and even our politicians became involved debating things that they did not understand.

Sadly it hurt people deeply.

Rumors do that easily. They are like knives that are not sharp but do great damage. Imagine your surgeon doing a fine operation on your body with a rusty old jack knife that can hardly cut a stick – let alone your skin. The healing and pain afterwards will be long and difficult to say the least. It is a wound not an operation.

Coffee Shops are filled with rumors in our area. It is a regular meeting place for local people. Without reservation or hesitation you can share a recently heard rumor. The rumor you are sharing need not be verified or substantiated. If it is repeated by a “friend” – it just has to be true.

In recent weeks new rumors have started to fly. The rumors involve our church and its death. People in coffee shops and places of great power are talking of the complete closing and destruction of Northview church. We are now two weeks after our announcement of a cut back in staffing and also the early retirement of the Senior Pastor(me).

At this point I assure everyone that the church is not closing – nor was that ever considered! It is another “Peterborough Rumor” shared in Coffee Shops and over telephone conversation.

As a pastor I had heard of the rumors as much as 4 months ago. A fellow pastor had come to my office to tell me he had heard the church was for sale. That was February or March. He was attending a conference in Hamilton, Ontario and some fellow ministers had told him they had heard and that they knew the Northview Church would soon be for sale. His church needed new facilities and maybe they should make the approach before someone else did.

Rumors. Wow. They scare the stuffing out of you. They can make you do some really silly things – even illegal things! They make people act weird and even make decisions that will affect their relationships for years to come. Worse yet – when the rumors are about you and you start to believe them – you are in real trouble.

The very best example for this kind of thing happened to the Children of Israel as they left the country of Egypt under Moses leadership. Moses had chosen 12 men to head into the Land of Promise and take look at what they were going to see and take over. The 12 men returned with two reports. 10 men had frightening reports of Giants and very strong cities and opposition and horrible possibilities. 2 men had a completely different report. There was some truth in what the 10 had said – yes…but this truth was mixed with their personal fears of the worst case scenarios their little minds could brew on the way home.

The end result of that adventure can be read in the whole book of Exodus. Because they listened to rumors and then believed them, they walked for 40 years in a Wilderness Experience…until all the people that believed the rumor died along with the 10 men that had started it.

God is not impressed with rumors. Rumors with him are lies. And lies started by even the best people are dealt with harshly. They die in the Old Testament…and even in the New one.

In our city it is usually the Newspaper that gets the ideas confused and mixed up. They tend to follow rumors and then report what they feel would be good press… and good rumors sell newspapers.

A few years ago with the “New Beginnings” house episode we saw the crisis that the community felt tear the heart out of people. What isn’t widely known about that episode was that it was a large number of “church people” that kept sharing the rumors…half truths…silly stories…and downright lies!

Yes all of these rumors nearly scared the daylights out of our caring community. None of the rumors were true – but they were great Coffee Talk!

Just after we had to make our decision to cut back at our church I took a step to help the Christian Community and the Pastors of the churches to know what was going on at our church. Carefully and resolutely I worded a letter to my fellow ministers so they would know the truth.

Just as I suspected the rumors are flying among the church people now. Our church is closing. We are dead. The Northview Day School that uses our facilities is also closing on the horrific day of June 22nd! Parents are calling the Day School asking why they have not been informed of this terrible decision. Whatever will happen to their children without the day care they get?

As recent as this past Sunday(the day the all Christians “share” stuff)…we had a rumor passed on to us that it has been confirmed by our head office of our church that Northview is closing. If it came from that source it HAS TO BE TRUE! WHAT IN GOD’S NAME IS GOING ON? (read that last line with a scream!).

The one rumor that has not surfaced yet has two parts… one is that Murray Lincoln is dieing and two that the Lincolns are in terrible trouble personally. Ooops – I just started another one….darn.

The fact that the Lincolns are healthy and happy – looking forward to retirement with some hesitation of any couple our age and our limited resources… isn’t considered yet. But that isn’t as good as a rich rumor full of “GOOD CHRISTIAN “*&%$” RUMOR”.

Yes I get a little perturbed with some of my delightful Christian friends. But then Joshua and Caleb must have wanted to scream too.

The Newspaper hasn’t called yet…maybe this week. The St. Alphonsus church is losing their Priest, Father Paul Massel as well. The Bishop has sent him packing to Cobourg. He is highly loved and greatly respected here. The Bishop must need his head read. Are they in financial trouble too….? Maybe there is a problem with relationships? Darn rumors never stop in Peterborough….

Did you hear that Pastor Frank is taking a lot of trips to other parts of the world? Their church has financial problems greater than ours. One person thought that Pastor Frank and Maureen may be going to an African Country to teach.

Did you hear that Pastor Karl is in trouble too. Retirement is coming for him too. He doesn’t know if he will stay in Peterborough or not…after all he is an American and he will likely head home too. Is that this year or next? I will have to ask about that one….

And the best one is about Pastor Lloyd… he has been here in Peterborough the longest now. It is rumored that he has run out of sermons – nothing new and nothing fresh. He has refused to go to Sermon Central on the Internet and get any new sermons. Rumors are his people are tired of the same old Bible Based sermons each week. Rumors are he may retire too.

That is only three rumors about three guys I know a little bit about. Now you should hear about the Presbyterians, the Salvation Army and the Anglicans…Holy Mackerel you wouldn’t believe what is happening in those denominations…! But then did you know that in Peterborough there are no Holy Mackerel – only Wormy Cod – but that is a rumor too.

Oh – by the way… the dude that put up the signs in front of his house telling about the “Ex cons coming next door” – is now a supporter of the New Beginnings house… and he is doing what he can to help the guys next door.

Retirement looks good….. I am starting a rumor today. Murray Lincoln is having the time of his life. It is better today than it was years ago when he started. And rumors are he is going to tell all about the real truth on June 22nd. Don’t miss it! He will be telling it all…rumors are he will talk about many of you….!

And….if you pass on one of these rumors – God will likely be visiting you to ask why?

~ Pastor Murray Lincoln ~

The Indian River of Years Ago – June 8, 2008
The following words were penned by a very good friend of mine by the name of Mary Lou. They are in response to my posting about the Indian River.

Thanks Mary Lou for allowing me to publish these words. You have taken me back to a time when things were so simple and so special. You have shared something very important to me….and you are one great writer!!!!


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Hi Murray:

I don't know if I told you but I raised on Indian River. We used to have a paddle boat and would go fishing up the river we called it.

There was one spot about two bends from our house that we called the deep hole because we could not see bottom. So we would fish there.

I am sure it has really grown in after over thirty years since I was last up the river. You are right there are very, very shallow spots where we were barely able to float over without scraping the bottom of the boat.

Our family dog which was part beagle and part collie would swim behind the boat for some of the way and then go on land through the bushes for most of the journey. Sometimes we would feel sorry for her and give her a ride home.

The furthest I have been is from Hwy 7 and Indian River where our house was to the railroad bridge. We were not allowed to go towards Lang village because the current was too strong and we would not have been able to get back under the bridge very well.
Actually just down from the Hwy 7 bridge toward Lang there was a place that we called the Pigery. People actually used to drive their cars into the river to wash them because there was flat rock on the river bottom and there used to be an old stone building with just walls and a few windows without glass that I was told was a slaughter house years ago.

I can remember one winter in particular that there was just the right conditions that the river was frozen over like a large sheet of glass so we went skating at night with a full moon shining skating through the trees. My oldest brother would have been a teenager and I think I was around twelve or so.

My parents used to rent our cabins for many years. They had four cabins all different and they all had Indian names. There was the front cabin with a little screened in porch like dining area and two bedrooms with just a partition between the two rooms which didn't go right to the ceiling. Each room had a little wash stand with a basin and old fashioned jug. It slept four people and had two double beds.

Then there was the little white cabin we called it and it was just a tiny little cabin that only had one bed.

The log cabin was next constructed of logs with a porch area which was partly screened and there were wooden flaps that you would put down at night. It had one fair size bedroom with one double bed. It also had a night stand with a basin and jug.

The green cabin was next and it was the largest of them all and was actually winterized with a front room a little area with an small fridge and a hotplate type stove. There was a small bathroom and a toilet but it was not hooked up. It also had a large bedroom and actually at one point in our lives my parents housed my four older brothers in it when space became a concern. My father put in an oil stove and my brother was in to old phones at the time so they had two old phones hooked up so that we could ring them up in the morning from the house. You know the old phones with the crank on the side and the two bells on the front.

The last cabin was a large log cabin rather unique and we called it Grandpa's cabin because he slept there on weekends when he came out from town. It wasn't anything fancy and was used for storage more then anything.

All the cabins were made up with white crisp cotton sheets and pillow cases that were laundered at the old Fannings dry cleaners picked up and delivered each week. Each customer was given white towels and face cloths, a jug with ice water, glasses and an enamel pail and dipper to bath with.

I can remember the one cabin used to rent for $21.00 a week.

All of the land along the river frontage was all bush so my father cut many trees down and had a bulldozer come in and level many, many loads of fill. He then developed it in to a small camp ground with an outside toilet and later added electrical outlets and a lamp post.

He used to put truckloads of sand at the beach area for swimming and it was fantastic. On a hot steamy day when I was swimming in the evening I used to think I wonder what the rich people are doing. We had our own swimming pool every day.

My Dad built a large garage near the house and Mom finally got her new Kitchen but it was short lived because Dad retired and they decided it was too much work and so they moved to Lakefield.

It is very depressing to see what changes have been made to the house and the grounds. Very pathetic actually. It is truly just a business per se former owners painted Mom's oak cupboards brown. The house has been painted chocolate brown and the cabins have all been moved to the back of the lot. It actually looks quite crowded. But memories will be with me forever and that's all that matters.

I have always wanted to do what you just did yesterday but somehow have never got to it. Did you have to portage anywhere along the way? The beavers used to make some mighty large dams.

Sorry for babbling on but I could not help myself you just lived my dream.

Talk soon.

Mary Lou
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Hi Murray again:

I would love to see any picture you took of your excursion down the Indian River.

It has been such a long time since I have been on the river.

Many funny stories I might add.

I was just thinking, I should get some of my family and plan a trip down the Indian River before we are all in wheel chairs using walkers or canes don't you think. LOL

Something to look forward to as we all need times like this to get out and appreciate what nature has to offer.

It would be a blast.

Mary Lou

Going Where Few Have Gone Before – June 7, 2008
As the frail craft slid into the river, the early morning mist covered the river surface. There was a beautiful stillness that engulfed our small canoe. We were about to enter an adventure that will never stop. The images will be kept for eternity – buried deeply in my memory.

When did this happen? It was only yesterday. It was a vacation day being used up before the big change in my life – from Pulpit to Pew. If you have been reading along with this Blog – it is the last few weeks before my retirement shift – at which time I will embark on the stuff that I always wanted to do…but never had the time.

Yesterday was the beginning keeping of a promise I made to myself. I did something that is almost impossible for a 64 year old man. I canoed on the beautiful Indian River – not far from Peterborough. I took time to be with my granddaughter Emma and her dad Bruce. I took time to be far away from the normal hurry and the normal strain of not knowing what will happen next.

We entered the Indian River toward the upper end at the Warsaw Caves. We exited at Lang Pioneer Village – 24 miles down stream. We exited after 126,720 feet of canoeing that required between 21,120 to 31,680 strokes of a paddle – (figuring 4 to 6 foot paddle strokes). Today my hands will not close properly and there are muscles in my back that I have not connected with for perhaps 40 years! I am sore – but oh am I happy.

Pure delight would be one way of describing the millions of moments as we traveled this amazing river that is so close to home. Sensory overload could be added to that description as the constantly changing scenery lumbered by the canoe. Every hundred feet, every half mile was different from the ones before. What a treasure so close by – yet so far away.

The best part….there were few people for most of the river journey and just a minimal amount of human evidence on its banks. There were only a few cottages at places close to roads and small towns. For 90% of the journey we had joined the native people of long ago that traveled this super highway of the 1700 & 1800s.

So many thoughts flooded my life yesterday as I traveled this route.

I had never been on this river before. I had no idea what was just around the bend. Only a short distance around every corner was the possibility of very deep water or extremely fast water that rocked us as we flew across the large boulders submerged below the surface. Yes there were rapids. Yes there were low hanging branches from trees that were downed by powerful storms. Yes there were many obstacles. None of them were known when we launched our small canoe in the early morning.

Was it ever like life for me. The unknown faced with little more than a prayer and the thought that it would be really good to hang on tight right now.

The canoe was our vantage point of safety and security. We placed our lives and future in a frail little craft that was a paper thin contrast to what it slid over and through. If ever I need an illustration of “faith”, yesterday has provided it. We put complete trust in something that is so frail that it could snap in two at any rapid – yet it was strong and safe. Other than stepping in and out of the canoe at water’s edge we never were wet…it protected us from everything.

There is no way to describe the feelings I have today deep down inside. Except maybe… thanking God for the time to have experienced the wonder of the day. Thanking Bruce and Emma for taking Grandpa along. And finally being very thankful for a really soft bed last night.

~ Pastor Murray Lincoln ~

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