Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rock Hounds and Silly City Slickers

Let’s say you own a piece of property in the New Market area surrounded with pasture land and some trees. Or maybe you have a swimming pool in your yard. Maybe you just live in a quiet setting of some sort. But – suddenly things change… you have visitors – lots of them.

When you look out the front window a whole hoard of strange people are walking over and through your yard. Some have headphones on with wires connected to along shaft they wave back and forth over the ground. Others are just staring at the ground with intent eyes scanning the earth.

Sounds like a start for a scary movie doesn’t it?

Well starting this week and days to follow the “York Simcoe Amateur Astronomers” will gather together with friends and search for bits and pieces of a meteorite that may have hit near this area.

Too funny really. I have traveled through the area and noticed some of the land. Years ago stones were picked from the farm land and fields to make an area to grow crops. Now city slickers are going to wander all over the land to try to find a rock or two… many picking up rocks that will be taken home as “possibilities”.

Most every farmer I know over the years would love to have had 35 – 40 city slickers pick their stones and then take them back to the city.

I think a farmer started the rumor and is getting free labor to do the job.

Now there are some draw backs. Dairy farmer’s cattle will likely stop giving milk for a few days too. They will be shocked a few times with these strange people walking in their pastures. Cows need privacy and city rock hounds don’t really care. But then the fun of watching a city slicker probe the cow pies for bits of a meteor will be fun too.

BUT there is danger too. The area that Newmarket covers is also covered with swamp and really crappy land where city slickers will likely get lost and maybe in deep trouble. Most farmers know to not go in there…but silly city folk are well… just… plain silly. They will be looking for rocks in a BOG. Sheesh!

A simple story like this one immediately makes my “farming roots” mind go crazy with the humor of it all.
But these crazy city folk heard that in the Alberta- Saskatchewan region of Canada – other city slickers found lots of rocks in and around “Buzzard Coulee” a while ago after another space rock came crashing down. The name where the rocks fell should give the city folk a hint…

We are a crazy and strange lot – we city folk. We think a rock is romantic and mysterious… and strange and valuable.

Let me tell you some simple and profound, Saskatchewan farming roots logic… they are stones… there are lots of them… and they likely all came from outer space… and if you want them just tell us… and you can have a whole truck load – NOW!

But the other profound thing to know and realize soon… if you walk over our crops and through our gardens, messing with our livestock – we will shoot you… or at the least turn the dogs out to sniff out the intruders.

Again… I needed a little laughter today. And like the Bible says – “A merry heart does real good – like a medicine.

No I won’t be going over to Newmarket any day soon. We have rocks in Peterborough…lots of them… and I know a farmer that told me I could have any one of them for free… and I know another guy….enough – enough…

Have a great big wonderful rocky day.

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chicken Races of the world

I just know that my Ontario friends THINK I am NUTS… but thankfully my Saskatchewan friends understand.

After my posting of yesterday concerning the new member of our family – Thunder – I received some feedback.


IN Smithsville, Ontario, near Niagara Falls and just south of Grimsby they hold annual Chicken Chariot Races. No kidding!

There are prizes for the fastest chicken and also prizes for the best decorated chariot.

Wynard, Saskatchewan has a Chicken Chariot Race as well. Along with 28,100 other hits in a Google Search. Really? Yep!

These are not to be confused with the Redneck Chariot Races – YouTube video reference below.

On a slow spring day – what better way to liven the air than to run your chicken?

I have begun the design process of the chariot for Thunder. It will be gold and trimmed with purple. That is a good contrast with his black colour and should catch a judges eye. Too much fun…

In my world people are getting sick and dieing. Again this week I listened to someone tell the sad story of a daughter that was 43 years old dieing from cancer. She had cancer since she was born and the battle was finally over.

I have listened to marital problems and silly stuff where one partner is always right – and the other is always wrong.

The world is suffering from another Flu outbreak with many people hurting and running scared. There are reports of insane world leaders and scary people everywhere.

Yes – we need a chicken race that will help us laugh again and look to each other with support. Do we care? Yes but sometimes we cannot see the joy that we once had.

Some how a silly chicken has brought us back to God’s best.

So here is to the Chicken Races of the world.

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Scroll to the Bottom of this Link for a Photo of Chickens in the Chariot Race in Wynard, SK

Chicken Chariot Race - Youtube

Redneck Chariot Race

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chicken Rancher

“Thunder” is growing. Tomorrow he will be 3 weeks old! No kidding – we still have the chicken. Yep – I am a farmer now… well maybe a small acreage owner…or is that a half acre? – and we have livestock. All I need to do now is to get a farm trade show walking around kicking machinery tires – and I am an almost farmer…almost.

So I know my friends went kind of nuts when I bought the chicken for $10… I can live with it.

The lady at the “Rural Routes” – Farm Feed Store kind of gulped when she heard we adopted it for $10 – with the Chicken Rancher selling/adopting out – 27 chicks in an hour at the Farmer’s Market ($270 an hour). The lady kind of chocked and suppressed a grin when she told us we could have bought the chick from her for $1.30. But then she was now making $12.95 for the 50 pound bag of chick food with the medication added – so Thunder will grow stronger and stay healthy.

Something weird about this involvement with a chicken called Thunder. It cost us $10.00 for the initial adoption. Then we had to buy a plastic pen for him to sleep in with the tea towel over top…add to that a new feeder dish, a water dish, and some bedding that is put in the bottom for Thunder to be comfortable and clean…. Kaching $16.00. Now that is $26.00. Then the feed was almost $14.00. This now is a Prize Winning $40.00 Chicken – Rooster or Laying Hen – not sure yet.

With eggs selling for about $2.00 for 18 – I will need to keep this bird for 360 eggs worth to recoup my money. Providing of course that we have a laying bird… and not a rooster… Hokey Mokey!

Oh yes – and I should tell you that he is exercised each day… it is the humane thing to do… and Emma’s idea(my granddaughter). Out he goes to the front carpeted area and does some amazing stunts. The minute he hits the carpet he runs like mad in circles and flaps his wings – that grew out of no where in no time… then he reverses and runs madly the other way. You can almost see the dude smile! No kidding. I wonder if I have to pay a Chicken Psychologist down the road?

Yep – he poops on the carpet with his new found freedom from his solitary confinement…but it isn’t hard to clean up. Emma showed me how.

Alida sat with the bird in the front carpeted area. The crazy thing walked up her pant leg pecking at the creases…then hoped on to her arm… proceeded to walk up her arm to her shoulder eyeing her closely.

Yesterday was the ultimate chicken dance day… it was warm… we took it outside. WOW! IS THE WORLD EVER BIG!

There is something called “Imprinting” that takes place when a baby bird sees its new mother. Well it has happened. The livestock has moved up the “scale of rights” from farm animal to new pet.

Imprinting? Yep… the crazy chicken follows you everywhere you go. It is comical as all get out. It was busy pecking the grass, looked up as I walked away about 10 feet, then with the speed of an Olympic runner came after me until it was snug between my shoes. I walked again and it ran after me.

I think I will chuck the egg laying idea to recoup my money. This chicken can enter the “Chicken Olympics” and make me some real hard cold cash. That fist investment of $40.00 will come back in the first track meet.

Thunder will never be able to integrate with his other hatchlings. He knows too much of another world. He has a taste of “human stuff”, chirps loudly when I come into the room greeting me, and follows me everywhere. The thought of it being a she and being cramped up in a small enclosure popping out egg after egg… then when done… going to Swiss Chalet… is a little too much for me to handle…specially after he or she came running after me peeping loudly… “Don’t leave me behind daddy…. Don’t leave me… I am afraid of Hawks hanging around the back yard…never seen one before…but wide open spaces scare the feathers out of me… don’t leave me….!”

Oh didn’t I tell you… not only can I speak Chinese and a bit of Spanish, French on top of my English – I found a Web Site that instructed me about Chicken Talk. Yep – I can understand… the soft Peep – as compared to the loud Peep that sounds like “You are killing me! Let me down!!!!” as compared to "Peep Peep Peep – this food is so good and the water is clean… Peep Peep…”

Am I crazy or what? Nope – just a typical Zoomer with lots of time on my hands now… need a low impact hobby… and have found Chickens don’t expect as much as people.

The other Zoomers in my community have really strange things at their places. One dude loves motorcycles. His nice cars sit outside while his bikes sit inside.

Another guy I know has the most beautiful old car you can imagine – it is a 1928 something or other… chopped down… spruced up… revved up and super charged… new upholstery… and the lot… and it has cost a whole lot more than my Chicken. My $40 Bucks would not even buy one of his wheel nuts.

Another Zoomer that I know has a Hot Motorcycle for sale. The price is half of what he paid when he bought it those few years ago. When I heard that he was selling it I told him I had to check with my wife. When I asked her… she never answered but rather asked me if I could get the Chicken some fresh water….

Ah… Chickens are cheaper anyway… and a Motorcycle has yet to be developed to come when you whistle.

I gotta run… Thunder is chirping on the other side of the wall. I have some chores to do… I love being a Chicken Rancher.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Monday, April 27, 2009

I wanted to shout out loud in church

Yesterday I wanted to shout out loud in church – but no one else was shouting… so I stayed quiet and made notes… and drew a few cartoons for the little girl sitting near by.

You see I am now a congregant of the Northview Pentecostal Church – and the retired pastor from this Church. I am a Pew Sitter like many others. But I want to be more…

The new Pastor – Pastor Tim Taylor is doing a super job as our new leader – my new leader. I respect and love him dearly.

The reason that I wanted to SHOUT OUT LOUD was because of his sermon. It was absolutely super! It was super for me and a few others that were listening closely. And before night fall yesterday I had others call me to tell me what it meant to them.

Way to go Pastor Tim – it was a Home Run!

So what did he talk about…? Glad you asked – here are the points he made…
Message Title: The Church You’ve Always Longed For
Scripture Reference: John 17 – Jesus Prays for His Church – what does he want?
The Purpose of the Church
#1 Purpose
– To Glorify God
#2 Purpose – To proclaim the Word of God
#3 Purpose – To be filled with the Joy of the Lord
#4 Purpose – To live united in God’s Love

And my purpose needs to be the same!

5 things I can do to help the Church
Learn to listen with the ears of Jesus…
Attract others by saying good things about the church – don’t listen to the bad…
Connect with individuals outside our circle of friends…
Help people become all God wants them to be…
Get rid of personal Garbage…

And I am working at these for sure… they are my homework this week!

For 10 years now I have got excited about the sermons coming from the pulpit – and now a new excitement is building – someone else is doing a great job… and I believe in him!

For 35 years I have had to “give” – now I “receive” and it feels so good!!!!

God bless you Pastor Tim and Northview Church. I am praying today that you are blessed greatly.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Killed in a Tragic Trap

I was a little more than shocked as I looked up into the face of the dead Robin. There he was hanging from a twisted branch of the Clematis in our backyard.

Each year we trim the branches back to allow the new growth its freedom to take over the trellis. I was doing the trimming of the thick over growth and had looked up to see where the branch should be cut.

There he was hanging upside down by one leg. The leg was broken just above his foot – likely when he struggled to free himself from the mass that entangled his foot.

But birds never get their feet caught in branches! Especially Robins – they are able to flee the slightest threat. They are agile and able to get away from almost anything. Why in the world did it die hanging from one foot?

As I looked closer the evidence was so sad. There wrapped around its tiny leg was beige coloured fiber from a Tarp. The fiber was wrapped or tied around the Robin’s leg and trailing behind it as it flew. When the Robin entered the bushy Clematis and sat for a bit – likely escaping the storm… the wind wound the fiber around the branch and he was done for!

That is my “CSI” analysis of the dead Robin at least.

How could he do such a silly thing? After all he had traveled all winter in warmer southern areas of North America and had likely escaped countless Cat Attacks, Human Threats, and who knows what. And there he hung by one broken leg…

Across our back fence in the neighbor’s yard is a powerful “He Man” boat and motor. Over this outfit is a tarp that is beige in colour. The Tarp is frayed around the edge from the wind and weather… and there are thousands of fibers dangling down.

Mr. Robin had been there and had picked up a loosened fiber in his small claw. But as he flew or as the wind blew it wrapped around his leg… and the rest happened in the tragic way that it did.

As I reflected on this sight and the poor bird hanging there, before cutting him down, my granddaughter Emma stood with me. She said, “That is so sad Grandpa.” I agreed.

Mr. Robin was working so hard to build a nest for Mrs. Robin so that they could raise their next brood… and now he was gone…dieing alone without her knowing what was happening to him. All because of a frayed Tarp that is basically useless in its covering of the “He Man” boat and motor.

Is this an environmental posting? Perhaps it should be. But there is more that came to my mind. It is more about our human condition and the way that we live in our tiny world.

Things come in our lives that wrap around our being to hold us back – tie us down and maybe even cause a loss of purpose and maybe even our life…

I have watched a young mom decide that what she had been blessed with in her home with a great husband and wonderful kids…lose it all for a stupid affair. The new guy she met had tangled her purpose and life with an offer that looked so good. He had already been through a failed marriage commitment, had two kids of his own and couldn’t get along with his “horrible wife that couldn’t understand his needs”.

I have watched a young man in his early forties connect up with a new lady on the internet chat room… and the following meetings that came about caused his break up to take place. Confused with lust, staggered by his imagination, he fell into a trap. His new “fling” had children as well…but they lived with their dad. His new fling was looking for more meaning in life – and this new man was looking for the same.

The stories are too many to share here. Over and over again I have watched “Daddy Robins” in human terms, getting caught by something that seems so easy, so tempting and so silly… then their life is torn to shreds with the thing that has caught a strong hold.

It could be alcohol addiction, it could be drug addiction, it could be pornography… it could be lust… whatever it was it was not good… and the family died, the lives were lost from each other – IT WAS OVER.

I want to scream at times – “Wake up you idiots – the thing that you are doing is NOT GOOD FOR YOU!!!! FLY AWAY before you are caught and DIE!”

But who is listening? Who gives a Ding Dong? Maybe one person will…maybe?
Depressing? Nope – just reflective on my part. As I carved in my shop yesterday I thought about the Daddy Robin and me.

I need to tell my neighbor about the old Tarp and how dangerous it is to little birds. Not sure he gives a Ding Dong – but I must try.

I need to say something to my readers today – to smarten up and take new steps to avoid these dumb traps that are laid to ruin everything for family and life.

Yes the starting photo is gross and ugly… but now I have your attention – click the small “envelop” beside the pencil below… and send it to someone that needs to read it…

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Angel in the Super Market

I received the words of this posting via email from my friends Brenda & Winston – fellow “Zoomers”. It is so good that I want to preserve it via this Blog. I think that the email is being circulated by “Forwards” at this time – to many of our friends.

At this time many of my friends are coping with sickness in their families and busy-ness in their lives. For some there is not much time left together. I feel that they may need to read this today.

~ Murray Lincoln ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Angel in the Super Market…
I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn't hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 57 years was still too raw. And this grocery store held so many sweet memories.

He often came with me and almost every time he'd pretend to go off and look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I'd always spot him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands.

He knew I loved yellow roses. With a heart filled with grief, I only wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was different since he had passed on.

Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two.

Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and remembered how he had loved his steak. Suddenly a woman came beside me. She was blonde, slim and lovely in a soft green pantsuit. I watched as she picked up a large package of T-bones, dropped them in her basket… hesitated, and then put them back. She turned to go and once again reached for the pack of steaks.

She saw me watching her and she smiled. “My husband loves T-bones, but honestly, at these prices, I don't know.”

I swallowed the emotion down my throat and met her pale blue eyes.

“My husband passed away eight days ago,” I told her. Glancing at the package in her hands, I fought to control the tremble in my voice. “Buy him the steaks. And cherish every moment you have together.”

She shook her head and I saw the emotion in her eyes as she placed the package in her basket and wheeled away.

I turned and pushed my cart across the length of the store to the dairy products. There I stood, trying to decide which size milk I should buy.. A Quart, I finally decided and moved on to the ice cream. If nothing else, I could always fix myself an ice cream cone.

I placed the ice cream in my cart and looked down the aisle toward the front. I saw first the green suit, then recognized the pretty lady coming towards me. In her arms she carried a package. On her face was the brightest smile! I had ever seen.... I would swear a soft halo encircled her blonde hair as she kept walking toward me, her eyes holding mine.

As she came closer, I saw what she held and tears began misting in my eyes. “These are for you,” she said and placed three beautiful long stemmed yellow roses in my arms, “When you go through the line, they will know these are paid for.” She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek, then smiled again. I wanted to tell her what she'd done, what the roses meant, but still unable to speak, I watched as she walked away as tears clouded my vision.

I looked down at the beautiful roses nestled in the green tissue wrapping and found it almost unreal. How did she know? Suddenly the answer seemed so clear. I wasn't alone.

Oh, you haven't forgotten me, have you? I whispered, with tears in my eyes. He was still with me, and she was his angel.

Every day be thankful for what you have and who you are.

A Request or Two...
This is a simple request. If you appreciate life, send this to your friends, including the person that sent it to you.

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings. Thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.

Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible. Thank you, Lord , that I can see. Many are blind.

Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising. Thank you, Lord, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned, tempers are short, and my children are so loud. Thank you, Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely.

Even though our breakfast table never looks like the picture in magazines and the menu is at times unbalanced. Thank you, Lord, for the food we have. There are many who are hungry.

Even though the routine of my job often is monotonous. Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no job.

Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest. Thank you, Lord, for life.

Pass this on to the friends you know. It might help a bit to make this world a better place to live, right?

A friend is someone we turn to when our spirits need a lift.

A friend is someone to treasure. For friendship is a gift.

A friend is someone who fills our lives with Beauty, Joy and Grace and makes the world we live in a better and happier place.
~ Author Unknown….

Should you wish to forward this posting(or any other on this Blog) to your friends – there are three simple methods…

1.) Highlight all the text you wish – then do a Copy/Paste into your new email or document… Keyboard Action – Hit the “Control” plus “C” keys with the text highlighted… then in your new document – Hit “Control” plus “V” key

2.) While in the Blog – scroll down to Archives Section of the Blog – in the Right side column – looking for the Title that you wish (the latest posting will be at the top… Next at the top of your browser you will find the Web Page address… in this case…
Do a Copy/Paste of this address into your Document or Email – the receiver need only click on the Link to see the posted article.

3.) Click on the small Envelop at the bottom of today's post - then follow the instructions.

Hope that helps you… and have a great day!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Friday, April 24, 2009

Too stupid for words – really

I am part of a major Lawsuit! Go figure and I didn’t even know about it! There are millions of dollars involved. I imagine and if it is won – I win as well. What a Bonanza!

That is until you read the fine print. Then it is not so clear anymore.

Last fall we bought a Motorola Cell phone. It works super. It keeps me connected and costs very little.

Now you will know that many places in our country have new regulations to curb the use of Cell Phone while driving. If I do that in Ontario I will be given a ticket and have to pay a fine.

So being proactive – I bought a Motorola Blue Tooth ear piece… that connects my Cell Phone via a wireless signal to my Head. I can now keep my hands on the steering wheel and talk at the same time.

WELL – today I found out via the National Geographic Magazine that I am eligible to join into the Mass of People that purchased this Bluetooth apparatus – because I purchased it at the same time the Lawsuit states. WHAOOO!

I will be rich... that is until I read the small print.

As this Class Action Lawsuit proceeds and we win the Prearranged Settlement will pay on my behalf $100,000 USD or more to a charity of some sort… and I get nothing.

More importantly it is to be explained that the Court has also appointed Counsel to represent me (and others that bought this same thingie) in court. It is explained that Counsel will seek an Order from the Court awarding them up to $800,000 USD in attorneys’ fees and up to $50,000 in costs.

Something is upside down here. My Lawyers are going to get 8 TIMES as much as I do. In fact they will actually get money and I get the satisfaction that some charity somewhere that I know nothing about will get my money – however much it is.

In a world that is weirdly polluted and in terrible troubled financially – recession wise and depression wise… DOES THIS SEEM A LITTLE STUPID OR WHAT????!!!!!

And to top it off – National Geographic Magazine – May 2009 Edition – that carries this Legal Notice is all about Earth Day and Green Stuff – yadda – yadda yadda. NGO is out to keep the world clean and save trees and all that other stuff… and then they help announce this utterly stupid lawsuit.

I wonder how many trees died getting this stupid lawsuit this far? I imagine that there are tons of paper used, tons of photo copy black stuff used – millions of watts of electricity consumed to get this STUPID LAWSUIT this far… then going to pay Counsel for me - $800,000 USD to stand in court and do nothing?

STUPID? You betcha! And I am part of it… me and my greed for a good old Western World Settlement – USA Style. Wahooooooo!

If you take time to read the fine print you will see that I must write to get out of the class action and also retain my right to sue. This is complicated.

IS there any wonder that people are upset with the Justice System and don’t trust a lawyer as far as you can throw them?

So what is the fuss about? Read on… about ONE MAN..
A California man has filed a class action lawsuit against Motorola, Inc, in Cook County United States District Court. His claim is that Motorola, makers of popular bluetooth headsets, has failed to adequately warn consumers of potential hearing loss from using the headsets.”

In an upside down world – something is wrong here.

In my world I have friends that have lost their jobs and their pensions – because of GREED at the top of their pile. Governments and Corporations have locked horns and demands are made. No guarantees are given to men and women in the GM Auto making world – that all the money that they have paid in will ever be seen again. GREED and STUPIDITY have sucked up their hard earned and invested money – in a heart beat.

I will write to these idiots and explain that they only legitimate Charitable Organization to be donated to is the “Murray Lincoln Trust Fund”. Placing the money in my pocket will guarantee more than what they are guaranteeing. I will keep it until I die… and buy a coffee for all my friends… and even maybe hire a Lawyer to help me keep it… NAW that is a bad idea… sorry!

Just be aware that the Bluetooth thingie in my ear as I drive works well… you just need to turn the VOLUME DOWN. Duh? And because it never told specifically to do that – even the man in California should know that is what you do when it is too loud. DUH!!!!?

But who the dickens will listen to somebody that doesn’t have a lawyer?

Too stupid for words – really… but I have used 840 words to say this much. Doh!?!

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Thursday, April 23, 2009

“A Miserable Old %&^$#^&*(&%!!!!”

The one thing that I fear the most is becoming old and angry. I am not afraid of being old – I am well on my way. But it is the angry part that is most unpleasant.

In a recent story in our local newspaper it was reported that Nurses are often attacked by Seniors that they care for in the Senior Residences as well as Hospitals. Nurses are often the targets of this pent up anger – sometimes from many years back.

In the chart below you can see the records from recent studies.
In a local senior’s home I have spoken with Nurses and Nurse’s Aids that have had bruises from angry old Men and Women who have lashed out. Unhappy because their kids placed them in this place! Angry because of aging… and a body that is failing… And sometimes it is just because they don’t feel good…so they will make others feel bad as well.

I can do nothing to stop it... neither can the nurses. How can anyone stop an angry old lady from striking you because she is mean? How can anyone stop an older man that should be revered from hitting the helper that the home has given him? Do you call in the police and lay charges? Do you toss them out of the senior’s home? Where would they go?

There is a group of hidden people that live in horror all the time. That is the adult child of an angry old person. They need support. They need comfort. Where do they turn to when it is all going bad?

It is a reality that few of us face. But we will face it as our parents grow older. Worse yet we will face it as we turn older and become them.

Again I say it is a thing that I have great apprehension about…growing old and angry.

In one setting locally I was working with a man attempting to help him with his wood carving. The man was so upset the day that I met with him. His issue was toast that was cold. Yep – you heard me right.

In life he had run huge corporations and given direction to thousands. Now as a Senior living in a very nice senior’s home – the IDIOT that made the toast was not doing his job right… the toast was cold… the coffee was horrible… and the service was just plain rotten. And right after he finished talking with me he was addressing his concerns to the management of the senior’s home. He was MAD!

I forgot to mention that he was a “regular church goer”… and proud of it. He was a REAL Christian.

What a magnificent reason to not attend his church!

Maybe if one Nurse reads this today and realizes that we are not all the same – us old guys. Maybe if they know that we will try to be better when we get there… it might help.

Maybe if adult children of miserable old people know that there are other adult children that struggled with the same fears… they might feel better after getting the report that Dad or Mom did it again.

Speaking with one Nurse that I know well she told me how she handles the abuse. Her method is direct. She says, “Now listen, what you are saying and what you are acting like is simply not acceptable. You have to help us here or you will be making it miserable for others and yourself. You must stop acting like this! It is not acceptable!!!”

Her sternness has worked magic. Some or most listen to what she says.

I write this to say I understand where most of us are now – as we care for older parents and have to visit them in the pleasant senior’s homes that they live in.

I have a sign passed to me by my father… “I want to live long enough to be a problem for my children.”

I think I will burn that sign soon… I don’t want to do that at all. I love them too much to be angry… or ornery… or a miserable old %&^$#^&*(&%!!!!

Hey I am going out today to make someone happy! How about you? Maybe if it becomes a habit to do that every day…. When old catches me… I will still be doing it.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Attacks on Nurses Common

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Professional Glass Tinkling

“No sooner do we start to talk to each other than they tinkle the glass to make us stop talking. It is frustrating!”

Mom had just revealed a strange kind of Senior conditioning and control. It happens at her Tuesday Morning Group at a senior’s program in Peterborough. I was blown away by what I heard and am not sure how I will ask questions about this one – if and when we have an invitation to an “Open House” – or a kind of Parent-Teacher interview (or would that be a Child-Teacher Interview?)

In the group there are about 15 people that come each Tuesday morning to enjoy the activation time together. Most, if not all, have come because of a doctor’s recommendation. After seeing the affects of isolation and the need for socialization they arrive to meet new friends and interact.

This is an absolutely brilliant idea in that many of the people that attend do not have friends or connections in the community. Their cohorts have passed on or are no longer able to actively communicate. Most still live in their own home or live with their children from what I can determine.

My mom has met some interesting new friends that have opened new connections for that friend and also for mom. The lady, Elizabeth, that has become her friend will call mom now and visa versa. Their friendship is growing with times together outside the group on Tuesday morning.

Back to the “tinkling”.

Most everyone knows that at a Wedding when someone starts the tinkling of glasses they want some reaction from the Bride and Groom – a kiss. When the glass is tinkled – people quiet and wait for response…

Most everyone also knows that in a public meeting the chair person may use a bell to get people’s attention and bring the meeting to order…

Most everyone has watched a Television show where a Judge has used a gavel to bring order and demand attention to what decorum should be…

It is with that in mind that the Volunteers that work with the Tuesday Morning Senior’s group bring about everyone’s attention – with the tinkling of a glass. “And if they(we) don’t stop talking, they beat the glass louder to get us to stop talking.”

Oddly enough Elizabeth for one will not stop talking to the one next to her. She talks louder when they tinkle. At 85+ she is not to be shut down. She has outlived the Russian invasion of her country, the brutality of invading soldiers, the raping and murder of her fellow citizens and the orders to not speak. And now a Volunteer thinks that she is going to be shut her down with louder tinkling!!! That is too funny.

Now why do they TINKLE anyway? Why is it so important?

Well it seems that the opening part of the program is the “reading of newspaper” for these “poor old people”. A kind of up dating of the world outside for these simple minded old people that they work with.

As mom described the scene that appears each time they begin the “reading of the newspaper” – it is more than comical. She said most of the people that sit there – close their eyes and tune out…perhaps even go to sleep. I am assuming that they simply tune out from the group.

Elizabeth talks louder to the one next to her… and the glass is tinkled louder.

The “students” are being taught that they should not speak when the “teacher” is speaking! They should be catching on now – program is more important than people. “For goodness sake don’t you hear the tinkling of this glass???!”

As Alida and I listened to mom tell her story of the glass tinkling we laughed at first. That happened when we heard that each time they “read from the newspaper” her classmates close their eyes. But when you hear the frustration in my mom’s voice about this silly competition between the “teacher” and the “student body” – there MUST BE a winner… and everyone knows that the “teacher” always wins. Except with Elizabeth… and maybe mom.

It is a soft form of abuse. “We have you in this room for the next four hours and you will do as we say and act the way that we want you to act. If you don’t come back for whatever reason – you will be replaced. That is how you got in here in the first place – some one quit or died. So you better listen… tinkle, tinkle, TINKLE, TINKLE!!!!!”

The issue of Handicraft production…
It is not limited to tinkling… it spills over to the craft sessions that happen from time to time.

At the Easter week’s group they made small flower basket arrangements to be taken home and enjoyed as a brightener – or a gift.

When mom brought hers out to the car on the way home I commented, “Is that what you made today?” “No” was the reply, “it is what the volunteer’s made.”

I questioned her… “You didn’t make one?” “Yes I did, but when I was done the volunteer came and took it all apart and made it completely different! So – NO I didn’t make it! They do that with all the crafts we do. We make it and they take it apart to remake it.”

I looked at her with disgust, “That is so unfair!” Where does the son of a frustrated senior go to tell it like it is? When is the next Child-Teacher Interview?

Do you get the picture? Lonely, live-alone seniors are sent to a group by loved ones and their doctors – to get some form of socialization, to talk with each other and to meet new friends. After they enter the program – they are being conditioned to be what the leadership wants them to be. It is not right!

But it is not new either. In church I have watched powerful leaders do the same to their seniors as well. When they want order – they tinkle in their own way. Program is more important than interaction. The people come early to talk with each other in the foyer – then with time running out they try to squeeze more words with each other as the leader – steps into his or her leadership role… “tinkling the bell” with their words…

I have been a bell tinkler – a glass tinkler – for years as the minister and leader of the service.

I made announcements to tell people when their own small group was going to meet… and in the coming small group – the head tinkler will be ready to shut down all conversation and interaction among the participants.

In fact I watched it happen so often in church and in the community that I have become a “Professional Tinkler” and was paid big bucks by people to shut down all interaction with my TINKLING while we worshiped God.


I am so sorry that I shut down the most powerful part of the possible last connection with each other…and for 35 years I was the best at making sure no one talked…by talking fast and louder. Double yikes… it has taken 65 years to figure that out.

Radical? Yes for the Tinklers it will be.

The ideal group interaction is where you come to together for a common cause or reason… then connect with each other.

I wonder if church attendance would increase if we took out the pews(the benches we sit on..) and talked to each other, listened to each other and spent time caring. Then after a half hour of interacting we could hear something read and explained for 15 minutes, then be allowed to interact with each other for another 45 minutes. And “glass tinkling” would not be allowed at all.

If I found a church like that I would join in a heart beat. Wouldn’t you?

But outside the building would be rows of morbid glass tinklers that would wag their fingers in disgust… too funny… we could leave by a different door.

Now how can I get through to the people in mom’s group… sheesh!???!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Day That My World Changed

My hands shook a little and I had a lump in my throat as I stared at the three small receipts in my hand. I have no idea when these simple bits of paper were placed in the old file. I had put them there a long time ago for some reason and then forgot about them.

There in front of me was the receipts dated May 26, 1967, June 16, 1967 and August 8, 1967. It wasn’t the date that mattered so much it was what the receipt was for… Here is what they look like…

Some time in March 1967 – I walked into a local Jeweler in Regina and picked out an engagement ring that I thought was beautiful. It sparkled and shone like the Sun. It was perfect and it was big enough that it would shine everywhere for a long time. It represented everything that I thought about this beautiful girl I had dated for five years. I was about to propose to Alida asking her to marry me.

As I left that day I had charged the ring at the store and they were getting it ready with the sizing that I guessed at. In a week’s time I could pick it up.

I had spent three week’s salary on this ring and committed myself for a life time. I had also bought one for myself on condition that she would say yes….

What if she said no? What if she was not ready? I was and I also was going to leave Regina shortly for Toronto… and maybe this wouldn’t happen????? I had placed $20 down on the wedding rings and had agreed to pay $12 a month until it was paid off.

Well she said a GREAT BIG YES that next week and glowed as she put it on her finger. I nearly did cart wheels as I left her home that day. I had kept a secret for a month – nobody but myself knew what I was about to do. It was the biggest step I had ever taken on my own.

It cost $1.68 to get the engraving done on the inside of each ring – that was June 16, 1967. Then on August 8, 1967 we bought the Marriage License for $5.00.

Gulp…there is that lump again…

There was more in the File that I discovered. There were two airplane tickets – seen below. One ticket was for $172 for M. R. Lincoln to fly from Montreal to Regina – return – leaving September 7th and returning the September 9th to Montreal. The second ticket was for “Mrs. M. R. Lincoln” one way from Regina to Montreal on September 9th… the day that my new bride joined me.

So why do I share this intimate moment in my life?

Well maybe I need to tell a crazy world that is upside down with its relationships – that true love really does exist. Maybe I think that some of the younger couples that need encouragement will see the difference and start acting in a different way than the way they act now?

Some of what I watch happening now is just plain NUTS. Sorry there is no other way to put it. Some are in a so called “Christian Relationship”… and it is anything but that.

When I walked into to the buy the ring that day I was not walking, acting or thinking like a “Christian”….but I can say that I was more “Christian” than some I see today with my commitment.

Okay…Okay… I am riding a hobby horse… I know. But when you talk “God Talk” and don’t walk what you talk – that is nuts.

Where is the relationship that began so wonderfully? What has caused you to move away from where you were? What did you do to move from there?

As I hold these simple receipts I remember what it meant back then. I tremble because I still think the same after 42 years. And if I can do anything – I will try my best to tell some of the couples – or maybe one of the people in a couple relationship… that you need to come back to some basics… you really do!!!

For now – I give Alida a BIG HUG as she has stood so faithfully beside me so many years. When she said that GREAT BIG YES – she meant it. When I struggled with the two weeks before and the two weeks afterwards and then popped the question – I REALLY MEANT IT.

That has made the difference for these many years – and I now THANK GOD for all that has happened. And I have the receipts to PROVE it!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Monday, April 20, 2009

What was…Mixed with what is…Stirred thoroughly with what will possibly be...

Making room for my New Life is not easy. Yikes!

Last evening I completed one step more toward freedom. I dumped two full boxes of old sermons. Now I know you may not start laughing as a Retired Minister – dumps old sermons. But there is a giggle in that. Who wants to hear an old sermon anyway? The first time was enough. I agree now.

For some reason I saved them. Dumb – dumb – dumb. Nothing but a pile of paper now… yet there is more.

I did stop on my way through the boxes and read over one or two – or shudder as I read MANY MORE! They are my old friends in a strange way. I knew each of them personally. I gave birth to these concepts. I poured my heart and soul into the material that was linked to the paper. Each one was thought out, each one was changed again and again, each one was prayed over. And believe it or not I checked each one out with my BIG Boss… who gave it a nod to proceed – no matter how hard it was to preach it.

These two boxes represented about 20,000 hours alone of preparation that covered almost every topic thinkable.

As I read through some of them and the small fine tuning notes at the edge of the papers… I remembered the time that I preached each one. It was then that the huge waves of emotions swept over me like strong waves at the Ocean Front…it almost toppled me.

Each sermon was presented after Life Experiences – Life Tragedies – Life Victories. They were the baring of my soul… the very essence of me.

Some sermons made people so angry I heard about it afterwards. Others were causing responses that moved me deeply as they said “Thank you…”

I had thought that I had professionally removed myself from each one – and used it as a tool to help people. But last night in a heavy way I realized that they were part of me…almost like one of my kids. They were seeds out of me – hopefully finding a place to germinate.

In a way it was like giving up old friends that would never be seen again – a good bye at a train station knowing this one will never return again.

But a powerful thing happened as I released them… I am now living in a new day… that needs a new way. Each new place that I now attend or speak in requires some NEW for that day… not some old tired sermon that is sluggish as it uses old illustrations to get the tired idea across.

I have heard fellow, old pastors, pick out the OLD SERMONS and try to get people to respond with the VERY OLD IDEAS. Not good… not bright and not what I want to hear.

No I am not writing about Old Sermons… I am writing about giving something up personally. I am writing about that turmoil I feel when something close to me is torn from me.

I have come to see that it can be things that I have collected over the years.

I have heard the deep sigh of the older people as their kids deal with getting rid of their precious things – as they are required to down size to a smaller area.

My mom did it with my sisters helping in the first stage. I did it in the next stage. And I will likely do it in the next stage as well. I now hurt with her realizing that I too ma doing the same thing.

Where does this all come from as I write today? I think it is one of the surprises that I had waiting for me in my 65th Land Marking Year. I am now into the first week of my 65th! What an adventure!

I am passing the Sermonizing Stage and entering the Reflective Stage. My times are now considering what was…mixed with what is… stirred thoroughly with what will possibly be.

I cannot again live out what was. I am not able to stay in what is. I am looking forward to what will be….grandkids getting married… new ideas… new opportunity… new friends that I meet… and tomorrow’s journey. And that is the best part – my tomorrows… oh I can’t wait!

Sooo… if you need some help throwing out the emotional stuff… call me…email me… I can cry with you… I can laugh with you… I can simply be there as you toss away old stuff.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Glow in the Dark Bra

“SURPRIZE!” At that moment all of my grandkids jumped out of the dark room… and on top of it all they were glowing in the dark. I couldn’t believe it – I was there to help my daughter Dana with my Grandson Clifford’s birthday party as all his friends were coming over to the “Putt n Party” for his birthday party. But instead it was a SURPRIZE party for me, and a Party for Clifford and Michael – who both had their birthday’s near mine.

I can’t believe my wife got away with this. For weeks she has been acting weird – too busy to do anything fun – too tired to go out – staying up too late. I thought it was the “hormone thing” again. But behind the scenes she was doing dozens of things to prepare for this “happening”.

She got me!

A week ago I pushed her to go to Whitby and have a party with our whole family. That was a ball. We crashed Bill and Anda’s place with a turkey dinner. And we had a party. I found out yesterday that I crashed their plans that were already in place! Go figure! I started that the day I was born – 65 years ago. So what is new!!!?

Putt n Play
In Peterborough we have a great Birthday Party place. A newly renovated building has included an area that hosts an indoor Miniature Golf Course. The difference is that the whole place has the normal lights turned off. And the course is lit with “Black Lites” which makes anything white Glow in the Dark.

Getting ready to go my wife suggested that I wear a light coloured shirt – preferably white. She showed me that she was wearing a light coloured “beige” shirt and I should do the same.

I should have caught the clue that something funny was going on. Dana, our daughter, had asked me to come and take photos of Clifford’s Birthday Party… why should I wear a White Shirt as a Photographer?

Of course as we arrived I found out they had tricked me. But the trick was more on Alida… too funny.

In the dark with the Black Lites the colour beige doesn’t really show up at all. She could not figure out why she was a dull dark colour – while all the rest all stood out like shining lights in the dark.

But then she removed her Jean Jacket – Hokey Mokey! She glowed in the dark in ways that made the Grandsons all yell… “Woooie Grandma!” In one of the strangest apparition that the Putt n Party has ever seen… was only Grandma’s Bra moving around the room by itself… a Ghost Bra!
Here is the evidence – because I know that no one will believe me without it!
I have said it before with the quote from the Bible – “A merry heart does good like a medicine”… and does our family every have a merry heart.

47 years ago Alida and I together had so much fun when we first dated – I kept coming back for more. We dated for 5 years straight and then married 42 years ago in 1967.

I listened to the whooping and hollering in the dark yesterday, the grandsons and granddaughter having a ball. Then I heard the “Woooie Grandma” and I laughed a belly laugh. What a crowd of happy people!

It was good that we had the Putt n Party all to ourselves – because we partied long and loud. We have a MERRY HEART to say the least – and WE ARE GOOD MEDICINE for any place we attend.

But the party was not over – Alida had more planned. Next door we moved to the Chinese Restaurant where the sign outside said it all… “Golf Balls here… Chicken Balls here” with two arrows showing you where to go.

The Chinese restaurant was ready for us with a table booked for a Merry Heart Family to make as much noise as we liked to make.

This event turned out to be an “Alida planed party” for Clifford’s and Michael’s party along with a Surprize Party for Grandpa – AND HIS RETIREMENT PARTY TO BOOT!

They got me… I was speechless as the cards and gifts came! And YES I did get a Gold Watch! – that is a Crystal Watch with Gold letters and special mechanical clock…. WOW!

As we sat in our corner of the restaurant different people came by to congratulate us. There was a big grin on their faces as they approached. I didn’t think we knew them. But they were happy for us! How did they know? WELL IT WAS THE MERRY HEARTS CORNER that had turned that corner upside down with our laughter and fun!

I know – I know – you weren’t invited. If I had known about it – I would have invited you!

I know – I know – I should be more sedate and quiet and dignified – but it was my party and even though I didn’t know about – I decided to make the most of it! And I love a good party!!!!

I have promised myself that I will ALWAYS be FUN to be with. I refuse to let the joy in my heart go out – no matter how hard the old and miserables around me try to put it out!

When my kids asked me one time why I act like I do around their kids I had an answer… I said… “If I die tomorrow I want these kids to remember their grandpa as being the most fun ever. I don’t want them to remember me as an ornery old F@#&. This grandpa has a Merry Heart and believe me he has good medicine!”

And the White Glow in the Dark Bra…. Well that was FUN TOO! Woooie Grandma!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Great Grandma Lincoln at 88 years old playing Putt n Party with her kids!!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Nose Hair Victory

“Ewuuu! Gross! I touched the hair in your nose! Why do people have so much hair in their nose?!!!?”

Emma had just tried to playfully pull my nose and doing so had grabbed too close to the hairy end… and “Ewuuu!”

It is a Zoomer thing I am sure. As a Zoomer I now have hair growing where hair never grew before… specially in my nostrils… and on top of my nose… and on my forehead… Good gracious – at times I think I am a Monkey… maybe Darwin was correct… we are related. And it comes OVERNIGHT!

My wife is the ultimate shopper. She sees things in a store that no one else can see. She finds bargains that no one knows about. Well last week she hit the jackpot for me as a Nostril Hair Growing, Ape Related, Zoomer… an ELECTRONIC TWEEZER WITH A MAGNIFYING GLASS!
Electronic? Yep – it has a light on the end that shines right up my nose to let me get a hold on the long and shiny white hair protruding out since last night… WOW!

And to top it all off – it has a small swivel magnifying glass that flips into place to help my old eyes! The dude that invented this was brilliant.

And the best yet… Alida paid a whole dollar for it… while shopping at the ultimate Zoomer Store – the “Dollarama”.

Now I should explain what a Zoomer is… for the none Canadian Culture people. Moses Znaimer(Canadian Media Mogul) coined the word when describing the Boomer Generation born in the later 1940s and now coming into their Senior Years. He said that “a Zoomer is a man that is 64 years old that thinks like a 44 year old, has the libido(sex drive) of a 24 year old and the heart of a 14 year old…” at least he thinks he does. His wife may not agree or hold to those parameters – but he thinks it.

Now adding to the need to solve Erectile Dysfunction – as so many TV adds are suggesting help – I now a have a super hair removal apparatus. WOW – I can now go out more often as the commercials suggest.

There is something about this aging process that is plain fun. I can’t wait to get up now for each day’s new discovery. It is an adventure getting old. And getting old in 2009 – is super. None of the stuff that my dad or his dad struggled with are ever going to be a problem for me. I can now see up my nose and not pull the adjoining hairs – that nearly kill me with the old tweezers!!!!

Now you may think this is silly to take my time to write this and your time to read it. But you see – I JUST KNOW that you have a hairy nostril as well… your fading vision and growing eye problem don’t let you see it. And you don’t have a granddaughter like I have that just happened along – and touched it…. and then became brutally honest with the grossness of it all.

Come to think of it… this posting may be a Public Service Assistance proclamation for the Gross Guys and Gals that have yet to trim that hair from their nostrils… and the fur ball growing in their ears.

Come on old guy… trim it. You grow it… so now harvest it.

If you need a hint as to how gross it is… try listening to some old Zoomer that has just tried to blow his nose on a cold day…not quite getting the last snort wiped from the protruding hanging hairs. Gag me… the stuff actually does the pendulum thingie…. Wobble Wobble…

So here is a “toast” to the inventor of the Electronic Tweezers that will now allow the world to look upon cleanly plucked noses of all older mature men – where ever they might be sticking their nose.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Giggles Night

Last evening I attended a “Giggles Night” presented by the Toastmaster’s groups of our area. It took place in Lindsay at the East Side Mario’s as a fund raiser for the Hospital. Talk about funny! We all laughed until it hurt.

My son-in-law Bruce Lindsay was one of the speakers. He is a quiet and reserved Funeral Director by day… but then is transformed by night to a very funny guy. He is good at what he does – so good in fact that he won a major speaking contest last year for the entire region.

The three speakers last evening talked about all kinds of topics. Half the audience came from the medical world where things are not always funny. In fact, the stress and the nightmares that some have are overwhelming.

Last night we laughed together.

The Bible states that “A Merry Heart does good like a medicine”. It seems that the ancient wisdom that was proclaimed so long ago is still true today.

Many of us have forgotten to laugh. In fact maybe we just don’t take time to laugh. How can you when you hurt so bad? How can you when you are surrounded with so many people that are in so much trouble?

I have noticed something of a transformation where humor is very much evident and needed.

When a family loses a loved one everyone weeps. The weeping goes on for a period of about three days… beginning just after the death… continuing through the visitation when friends and family surround the widow or family members….then through the memorial service there are many tears. BUT – within an hour after the service there is laughter sprinkled around the room as people now begin the journey away from the tragedy. The grief dam starts to break.

It is at that moment that I see the possible miracle that God has placed within us – the merry heart is possible again.

Grant it – many of the deaths that I have attended and the funerals that I have taken part in have followed long sicknesses. The death was a relief.

There will be days and times when the loss will be great. The clouds always seem to be too heavy to clear away.

But above the cloud cover is always sunshine. Just a little way from you is someone that will giggle with you – if you let them.

The funeral that I attended to this week left me shaken and not laughing. Last night I let loose and laughed heartily. What a release!

I encourage you today to laugh again. Giggle a little. When was the last time that you did that? When was the last time you let go?

Just in case it is hard to do… this may help. Have a great big Giggle Day!
~ Murray Lincoln ~
This is Bruce Lindsay - Winner of the Toastmaster's Humorous Speach contest for the Ontario Region!!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tackling the Monster File

Tackling the “monster files” in my garage is a royal nightmare! This should have been done years ago…but always toooo busy. I needed to discard – but never had the time. Now is the time. They have collected in the garage upon my retirement from the church and moving from the church office.

As I shoveled through box after box… I slowed to a crawl. Then I stopped… I was caught in the “File Monster’s” teeth… and I began reading, reading, reading, and savoring, savoring, savoring… then – ouch – saving! NO! It must go out!

Then the “Fun File” appeared. Well it isn’t exactly “fun”. It is a pain in the “@&&” file over all the years.

Since 1974 I have received the ugly letters, threatening letters, disgruntled letters, the “I know better than you” letters, the “I will leave the church if you don’t do it my way” letters. You name it and they are all in that file.

When the first letter arrived, which was from a very nasty, self proclaimed Witch – I didn’t know what to do with it… so I dropped it in a file folder. Then came the super mean board member’s letter that threatened fowl play if I didn’t listen to him and his wife.

And in most recent years the file filled with the ugly letters and comments… from the “Northview Gang”… note I didn’t say the Northview Church. They were a Gang…and many worked together. Their intent was to bully and badger everyone. Most that wrote letters that were in that file are either gone from the church – or some are… well… dead.

As I read through the file I felt the sting and the anxiety attack that was there when the letter arrived. Ouch. It was so unfair.

There was the grandma that wrote because her grandson went to the youth group – and when he arrived he was expected to pay $2.25 for an outing to the local Fast Food joint. He apparently didn’t have the money – went home mad – and the grandmother quit the church. No kidding! It really happened!

I shuddered with the emotions that came back… then I relaxed and it was all gone. These people are now some one else’s problem – not mine anymore.

But there is a “wonderful file” that is filled with the happy people’s expression of love and concern. I never kept enough of these however. There are a few saved. The good problem was that you would not be potentially sued by these people. The miserable people threatened all kinds of things.

My wife saw the file and has started reading it slowly… remembering. Then she made a decision that she will begin a scrap book of sorts with all the letters placed in the book carefully. Her intention is to have it on display at my funeral with a title of “Nails in My Coffin”. In other words – these dear folk are the ones that killed my husband!

Nope – it never happened. I have lived to tell about the file and read it again.

The other day I saw one man that wrote a very accusing letter that is in the file. He cannot remember where home is. His wife tends to remind him that the person standing in front of him is “Joe – you remember honey… Joe sat near us in church years ago.”

There is some regret with the file and the letters in it. I think of all the lost relationships and broken possibilities that could have been… all because of ornery attitudes. It is sad to say the least.

But then again I grin… because I thank God that I didn’t marry that kind of person. Wahoo… I am sorry for the dude that did.

Sure it is venting on my part to write this. After all it is true and for years I have not been able to tell the truth about the truth.

But then for years I have watched people come to church unhappy, sit unhappy and then leave unhappy… to go out into the world unhappy for the next week to tell everyone that they are the happiest people alive – they are Christians. That makes me laugh… truthfully… laugh out loud.

On a quasi-theological basis – I doubt that God will allow them into Heaven later… for two reasons…
1.) God doesn’t have a place for unhappy people,

2.) The shock they would experience in Heaven with being surrounded by happy people – would make them even more miserable – miserable because other people are too happy and making too much noise –laughing, clapping and simply enjoying themselves.

(There likely is a number 3 reason as well… God doesn’t have any paper in Heaven for them to write their complaints down…)

I have been attacking the Monster File… and I am winning. I am winning because now there is no regret, no anger, no longing or wishing it would have been different. I am free.

In actual fact I know now that “each person” was the reason I was in business.. the business of praying, caring, visiting, listening, and simply being there – no matter what they were like. Each upset and angry person was a “make work project”. I had a job because of them.

Think of it… a pastor would have little to do if everyone loved each other.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

“Ling” and Her Family - the Hong Kong Prison System

65 Years of Memories...
My friends Randall and Denise sent the following information about a girl named “Ling” that lives in a Hong Kong Prison now.

In 1980 to 1985 I lived in Hong Kong and had come to know the Prison System and people that had lived there. We were working with some of the Drug Addicts and Ex-Cons as they came from the prison. Family situations were often very difficult. I played a small part in the work of restoration of family members and the reunification that is so desperately needed.

I post these following words to let you see what is happening in a far away place. For God it is not far away….

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Randall writes…
One year ago, we mentioned that we took a trip into Mainland China to visit the family of one of the female inmates. “Ling” has been in a HK prison for the over six years and Denise is the only one who has visited her in the last 5 years. When Ling was arrested in HK in 2003, her two daughters went to live with Ling’s parents in the Mainland. Life has not been easy for this poor family. They have been living on a small pension of the grandparents to support their lives. In the last six years, they could only communicate with Ling by writing and had not even heard each other’s voices on the phone. Even though they missed Ling, they could not afford to come to Hong Kong.

Last year when we went to visit the family, we tried to help and be a “go-between” and let them know Ling was “OK”. This brought some comfort to them. When we talked to Angie and Annie, the two daughters who had not seen their mother for more than six years, they asked Denise, why was their mother in jail? In Chinese culture, someone who is in jail is considered “losing face” for the family and so the grandparents never told them the truth and it created doubt and anger towards their mother. Being teenagers and without their parents (their father had died some years before Ling’s arrest) they became a little rebellious and even blamed their mother for messing up their lives and would not forgive her! They also expressed that sometimes they could not even remember how their mother looked!

Denise continued to stay in touch with them regularly by telephone and tried to give the girls and grandparents some counsel and advice. A few months ago, we felt led of the Lord to arrange to sponsor and bring the family to HK to visit Ling once.

What can you talk about to your mother/daughter in one and a half hours?
Recently after a 12-hour over-night bus trip, the grandparents, Angie and Annie arrived at the border of HK. We both went over to meet them and put them into a HK guest house for a few nights. Since HK prisons only allow visits twice in a month for half an hour each time, Denise arranged to apply to the prison to give the two girls an extra half an hour to see their mother. Before their first visit, we took the two girls to the HK waterfront and Denise told them about what happened to their mother and why she was in jail (with Ling’s permission). Denise told them that while their mother made a serious mistake, her motive was to try and benefit the family but now she is suffering from her own mistake by being in jail. After listening to the story, we could see tears in their eyes. The girls also shared how difficult and hurtful it was for them to live in a broken family and sometimes they were even mocked by other family members and friends. We felt very sorry for their situation and couldn’t fully imagine how hard it has been for these two young girls. Denise asked them if they were still angry with their mother. Both girls said after knowing the truth, they both felt a release and expressed forgiveness for their mother!

Sunday morning, Denise took them to a Chinese church to attend the service. This was the first time the family attended a church. When they heard the songs, they were very touched! That afternoon, the grandfather and two girls went to see Ling for the first time in the last 6 years and the visit was half an hour! While we were sitting outside with the grandmother, she thanked us for helping them come and see Ling and expressed how difficult it was for her to take care of these two young granddaughters. After the visit, we saw the grandfather and two girls pass through the prison gates filled with sadness and tears in their eyes! Angie shared with Denise that she told her mother that now they know what happened they forgave her and promised her to be good and to wait for her mother’s release so that they can be together again as a family.

During their time in HK, Denise had opportunities to talk to the grandparents, Angie & Annie separately. Good times were spent with the two young girls listening to them as well as giving some advice and encouragement. On their last day in HK, they went for their second visit and with the special permit it was a bit longer this time (one hour). The grandmother and 2 girls went and they talked, cried and said “good-bye” for they knew that there are still two more years to wait before their reunion! Even though they were separated by glass and could not touch or hug each other but seeing someone they loved and knowing she is fine meant a lot to them.

This was a valuable time for the family as God helped them repair their broken relationships so that now they do not have anger and bitterness but forgiveness and hope in their hearts.

That afternoon, as we put them on an overnight bus back home to China, they thanked us again for assisting them to come to HK. They said if you both had not helped us we would have been left to struggle in life by ourselves. They were so thankful that someone in this world cared about them! It was very meaningful for them to see their daughter / mother even though it was for a very short time. They thanked God for sending us to help them and said we were like God’s angel to them! We thank the Lord that we can be used as His small instruments to help needy people and all the glory and praise goes to God! “Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it for me.' (Matthew 25:40)

Randall & Denise
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For more information of how you can contact Randall and Denise directly – please contact me directly…

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Monday, April 13, 2009

65 Great Years – Thank You – April 13 2009

65 years ago in a small Nursing Home in Ceylon, Saskatchewan – the world changed for a young couple. Their first baby came into this world with some great struggles. The baby almost didn’t make it. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his scrawny little neck – and his face was blue. The more that his mom pushed and the further he came down the birth cannel – the tighter the cord became. The much needed oxygen was not there for this tiny creature facing his first moment of life on the outside.

Now if this birth would have happened in a modern facility somewhere in a city hospital – there would have been less concern.

The Nursing Home was not a hospital. There was no doctor or fancy machinery. There was a nurse that had some experience in assisting women having babies. There was no light either. The Second World War was on and all fuel, power and the luxuries that we have today were cut off after 12 AM. At midnight it was dark.

As the delivery started late at night there was no light to see what was happening. Any checking on what was happening took place as the young, first time father held a flash light for the nurse to see.

Without being too graphic – it all happened in front of the young dad’s eyes as he watched the beam of the flash light. Then came the baby’s head and the site of the cord. It was not good.

But the cord was cut and the baby began making noise – lots of it… and has been doing this for 65 strong years.

That baby was me. I have heard the story many times from my dad and mom.

I finally arrived at 6 AM - after a wild night of birthing. My dad then rushed from the small nursing home to catch a ride to another town – then get on a bus that would take him to Regina’s Army Recruiting Station where he had to report to enlist in the army.

It was not nice times. The war had been raging for more than 4 years in Europe and Asia. Many men had already died. No one knew for sure that their son or father would return from the war after enlisting.

I can only imagine what the feelings my dad must have that day as he boarded the bus. The people on the bus could really have cared less about him after what he went through. There was no time to even tell his siblings or parents what he had just gone through – or to have the family celebrate his great joy with a new son. There was no time to even hold the baby… he ran out the door and began a journey into a war that was waiting.

Last night we had a Birthday Party for Grandpa Lincoln - ME. All my grandkids gathered around the table to sing and celebrate with and for me. We have it all on video(that may make it to YouTube today).

I looked across the table from me at my mom. Then I told a story for my grandkids… and how I arrived. I looked at my mom and said “Thank you… for having me…and going through what you have all these years.” She cried and so did I…

A birthday – special or not – is not about the person that has just turned another big corner. It is about the people that made it possible.
I want to thank some special people today…
* Karen Alida Lincoln
– once known as “Jonesy” – my girl friend for 5 years and my wife for 42 years now…
* Dana and Anda – our two wonderful daughters that have made my life pure joy…
* Bruce Lindsay and Bill Rourke – our daughter’s husbands – the greatest men that I know… that were made specially to look after my kids and grandkids…
* For Clifford, Emma, Jonathan, Thomas, Michael and Christopher – the best Grandkids in the Whole Wide World…you guys keep my young!!!!
* And SPECIALLY for Clifford Leslie Lincoln – my Dad… and Marion Nellie Lincoln – my Mom… without them none of what I am or what I have done would have ever been possible…
* AND… a Million Friends that God has given me over many years of my living – they are my BIG FAMILY given by God.

God Bless you all!

~ Murray Lincoln ~ 65 and just beginning the journey!!!!!!


Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Day “Thunder” Arrived

Everyone knows that Thunder makes a Loud Noise! Well Thunder arrived at our home yesterday and it sure does make noise.

Earlier in the day we were shopping at our Farmer’s Market and “milling among the millions” – on this Easter weekend. It was then that we spotted the display of a local farmer and what they had for sale.

There in the small enclosure was a collection of Black Chicks… a very Easter kind of participation display. The kids were standing close to the enclosure pointing out the small bodies busily pecking at the feed in the small dish. The chicks were only three days old. Talk about cute!!!!

But these chicks were not just for looking at… they were up for adoption. For a small fee of $10 you were able to adopt them…taking one (or more) home for the Easter weekend – or for as long as you would like to keep it.

Yep… you guessed it. Grandma and Grandpa Lincoln became Chicken Farmers for this week. A carefully typed instruction sheet explained all that we needed to do to take care of our little black chick… and encouraged us that we could simply call if we had any problem with the chick. And if it made too much noise – or we couldn’t handle it… we could bring it back to the Farm where it came from.

I spoke with the lady in charge of the adoption process. She explained that she had 27 chicks when she began about one hour ago – and this was the last one. Not bad she had adopted out $270 in one hour… with the good possibility that the person that adopted the chick would bring it back.

Included with the chick was a week’s supply of food. The bag that held the food was six times the size of the chick… and about 100 times its weight! The lady explained that if we kept it longer than a week…we would have to buy more food. Hokey Mokey – I never knew that something so small could eat so much!!!!

The photos of “Thunder” working his magic says it all.
Emma our granddaughter gave him the name Thunder. Emma is 10 and has a heart of pure gold. When I told her that we would take Thunder back next Saturday – she frowned… “No way! We can keep him. I love him. Can we get someone that has a farm to look after him for us?” Sheesh! I am now in a hot spot that the Farming Lady never warned me about. How do you take it back – when your grandkids love it so much from the start?

Then Clifford, my taller than me 14 year old grandson, suggested that we not call it Thunder – but rather “Drum Stick”, or maybe call it “Supper”. Emma was not impressed.
I explained to Emma that in about six weeks, or by May 23 – “Thunder” could provide us with a great super together. I also explained that his brothers and sisters at the farm were likely going to be at Swiss Chalet (a chicken restaurant in our area). She was not impressed.

Clifford asked her a logical question at that point. “Emma look down at your plate… what are you eating?” Emma looked down and then looked at me… saying slowly… “Chicken…”. Oh boy… what have I done?

We went through all the scenarios that are possible to save “Thunder’s” life. He could live in a chicken pen outside Great Grandma’s. Grandpa could build a pet enclosure just for Thunder. And if Thunder is a male he would then wake up everyone early with his crowing…

This was getting complicated. What the $10 adoption feed did was make a farming lady a little richer – at $270 an hour… and it has complicated my life entirely. Clifford and Emma have fallen in love with Thunder. Emma may become a Vegetarian… and Grandpa has made himself another job of indoor farming for one week. Hokey Mokey… Yikes!

One of the heart warming things I spotted as I came into our dinning room I captured with the camera. There on the floor was my 88 year old mother sitting beside Thunder. You see she was a farm girl and has never forgotten the chicks of her early years…
I will never cease to be amazed at how a little chicken can turn the hearts and minds of full grown people.

Back in the Farmer’s Market as I was speaking to the lady adopting out the chicks… she said something with a big grin on her face… “It works for both of us… and you can keep it as long as you like.”

Now if we did keep Thunder… and later found a Mr. or Mrs. Thunder depending on our Thunder's genetic make up… we could have more little Thunders by the summer… and if my calculation is correct… we might have about 216 by the end of summer… we would be saving about $5400 ($25 for two people) in money we wouldn’t spend at Swiss Chalet. But if I adopted the chicks out for $10 a chick each week…that is $2160 per hour…

When Thunder arrived… our world changed… “That’s why we call him Thunder Grandpa!”

Murray Lincoln ~

Notes for City Farmers:
A small mirror in the enclosure helps Thunder to stop chirping his head off... the small 25W bulb let him snuggle up and sleep for a long time between chirps... and the wood shavings are easy...