Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tabloid Living

Come on! How dumb can some one be?!?

Karen Sala, from Barrie, has now made a name for herself. After 46 years of living – she is in the news. She claims that at least one of her children(now aged between 20 – 25 years old) were fathered by Keanu Reeves. Keanu( seen above) is one of the movie dudes from a well known movie – Matrix.

Can you believe it? When you are famous – people want to have your kids… or better yet believe that you slept with them to produce a kid.

How stupid can some one be? Sorry Karen S – I don’t believe it at all. Probably like a million others that have the same feeling.

No this is not a tabloid posting… it is posted to show how silly the world we live in is at times.

I am almost afraid to wake up some days. The world is crazier day by day.

My chicken has it right… he likes me… as much as any chicken can like its master.

In the back yard yesterday the silly thing followed me. It still has this imprinting thing going on. I am the daddy… he or she is the chicken.

Now the world really is nuts… I get fun out of talking to the chicken. Maybe I am more nuts than Karen S. is….?

This morning when I rose from my bed the birds were calling me outside again. The sky is clear blue and the wind was blowing any trace of last night’s storm away.

God has provided again another day to enjoy together. What a blessing it is to be free from stupidity that I read about. What a life I live… able to not worry about silly people in my life.

Mind you I don’t have fame or fortune – if I did I would imagine that some one might knock on my door and begin the dribble too.

Have you stopped to thank God for what you have… and not moan about what you do not have?

I don’t want a Tabloid Life. I love the Life that God has given me.

Gotta run… there is a while lot of life to live today.

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tidbits from Joe and Joyce

Dear Readers…

The following tidbits came via an email that had been forwarded many times over. As I read over the email I am amazed at the simple wisdom conveyed with each thought. I can’t wait to try some of these.

I must make a disclaimer here though. I take no responsibility for any potential danger that might be underlying these suggestions.

I take no responsibility for any marital problems that may occur when and over zealous mate tries one or more of these suggestions on their family.

But if one or more of these work… I accept the credit for being so wise as to have passed them on for others to read. And in this case I give Joe and Joyce full credit for giving it to me.

Finally… if you do pass it on to 10 others you will likely not receive six new camels in your driveway, or a Rolls Royce that is pink, or seven blessings of Abraham, or a new puppy, or win the lottery, or have a real funny pop up on your screen.

You will however been able to sit quietly and smile as you spend one hour off your feet, giggled a little and then called your mate to look at this.

A small number may print this off. If you decide to do that from this Blog – do a “Control C” of highlighted text… then a “Control V” into your email or Doc file…. Or send this link…

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


Food Ideas and Suggestions
Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little 'stringy things' off of it. That's how the primates do it.

Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminium foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mould!

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

To really make scrambled eggs or omelettes rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.

For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful mint frosting.

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummm!

Reheat Pizza
Heat up leftover pizza in a non-stick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.

Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

Expanding Frosting
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it w ith your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

Reheating refrigerated bread
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper weeds away
Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass
Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.

No More Mosquitoes
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

Squirrel Away!
To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and ... ta da! ... static is gone.

Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshield?
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Reopening envelope
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.

Goodbye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2' with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it 'home,' can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

The heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that fixes things around the house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load clothes.) He told us that he wanted to show us something; he took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material .. I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like. Well ... the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn't go through it at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh that's what burns out the heating unit. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It's what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free ... that nice fragrance too. You know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box. well this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your house down with it! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at l east every six months. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about that!?! Learn something new everyday! I certainly didn't know dryer sheets would do that. So, I thought I'd share!

Note: I went to my dryer and tested my screen by running water on it. The water ran through a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen. I washed it with warm soapy water and a nylon brush and I had it done in 30 seconds Then when I rinsed it ... the water ran right thru the screen! There wasn't any puddling at all! That repairman knew what he was talking about!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dealing With The Horrible Transitions

Today a family needs prayer. There is a big transition coming for them and dealing with the transition is major. It will be as earth shaking as it was a few years back. But today it is the final moments when the decision will be made.

The key word is transition. It can be seen as a Horrible Transition or otherwise. Every one of us are presented with transitions all the time. In fact it would be a pretty boring life to not have transitions of any kind.

I heard some one moan, “If only things would stay the same… I hate change!”

I don’t agree. The day is filled with changes… everyday is different from the last… every month is unlike any others.

I agree that we do not find some the changes pleasant. But some one else may find the same change around them an answer to prayer and the greatest thing that ever happened.

For an example… I hate snow. I hate shoveling snow. I hate driving in snow. I hate months of snow. I hate snow! My neighbor down the way however loves the stuff. He is a skier that needs snow.

I am loving what retirement is becoming. I spoke with another friend that hates it. He cannot stand getting up and having little purpose of any kind. He has no routine or rhythm in his new life of the Big R.

Changes happen – whether we like them or not. What matters is not the change – but how we deal with it. Our attitude is every thing… our circumstances are not the controlling factor.

A doctor gave me some advice one day that helped me refocus. I had been struggling with some miserable things at work and in my life. I had a major problem with ulcers and was burning up inside.

He said, “I can give you medication to take the pain away and deal with the discomfort… but you can help more by thinking about things differently… you can change the way that you look at it all. It is up to you.”

I accepted his medication to stoop the burning. Then I embarked on a new path and decided that I would look at everything in a new way. Where is the advantage? What was the opportunity? How could I turn this mess before me into something that would be better – not bitter?

In two months time there were no more ulcers. My stomach was clear and has been for 40 years now.

Attitude was everything. Transition will always be there – I could not control these things. But I was the owner of attitude. I could not make a difference around me – but I could make a difference in me.

I have to run now. I am going into a transition from the old me of yesterday to the new me of today. And today will be a good one.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Apples of Gold

For the past few mornings I have been greeted by one powerful little bird as he sits on my neighbor’s roof – singing his heart out. At 5:15 AM he has already started his melodies. And it is at 5:15 AM that he greets me every day.

Now that is commitment to say the least. The commitment is to his family, his mate or his children – letting them know that the world is still turning and everything is okay.

The bird is half the size of a sparrow. But it has a voice of much bigger bird.

Over the mornings in this past week the weather has been different each day. One day it is going to be bright and warm. The next day it may be overcast and rain is about to come… and the one day it was pouring rain. Still he was in the same spot on the roof singing his heart out. Each time it is just before day break…just before the world wakes up…before cars rush by to the next place they are to be.

I have been thinking of this little guy with the big voice. What a power house of purpose. Made small and almost insignificant – but with purpose.

As I have watched him and listened closely he has come back to my thoughts over and over again.

He is not a peacock… with brightly trimmed feathers. He is not an eagle with the ability to fly high and long. He is not a hawk that will search out prey. He is not a noisy crow. He is just a little bird with a powerful voice and a cheerful song that brightens each morning.

He is committed to do his part for each morning.

As I think on this tiny creature that is working so hard, I remembered a person at a large hotel that we stayed at. He was a young man with sweat running down his face. His hotel uniform was dirty for a recent maintenance job he had done in the men’s washroom.

As he walked by me I said to him, “Has anyone told you that you are doing a good job? I appreciated how you have kept these toilets working with this large audience.”

He hesitated as he stepped forward past me… then turned and said… “Thank you, I appreciate that.” Then he grinned as he walked away.

He had just faced a mess that was nasty. He had cleaned up something that others had run from… and few knew what he did. The well dressed manager wouldn’t be caught dead in that washroom. But this young fellow had kept his word and completed the job.

My words were like my small bird friend that sings long and hard each morning. It isn’t much but it can make a difference.
Proverbs 25:11 states “Like apples of gold in settings of silver.. is a word spoken in right circumstances.”

Today I am looking for more places where a “simple song” and “simple words” might make a difference.

My years are limited. There are not a lot of hours left to deliver what I need to deliver. So today I am going to “mount a roof top” – fluff up my feathers and sing for all I am worth.

I feel a song coming on… oh boy…watch out world! Here I come!

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The “N” Word, Japs and Indians

As I read the account of the little girl that was taught to be a racist – I was shocked.  Shocked especially because it is 2009.  In 2009 things have changed from the old days/  Everyone knows that – don’t they?

Dean Pritchard writes…

WINNIPEG -- A young girl at the centre of a custody battle between her alleged racist parents and child welfare authorities believed she would lose her mother if she befriended non-white children, a Winnipeg court has been told.


According to a social worker who testified yesterday, the girl said her mother told her,


"If you have a friend who is not white I won't be your mom ... I'll say I'm not your mom."

The disclosure came in April 2008, several weeks after the then seven-year-old girl and her two-year-old stepbrother were seized by Child and Family Services.

How sick can that be in 2009?

Well something should be said for the power of change… in society.  We didn’t always think this way.  Have you noticed?

Let me ask a question of your family.  When was the last generation in your family to use the “N” word?  The “N” word is “Nigger”.  Every family in my generation used it when I was a boy.

I am 65 years old now and I heard it used 50 years ago – often. 

It was a used by many in southern Saskatchewan in those days.  Most of the friends that I knew were also of similar extraction – formerly of the USA – with families arriving to settle in Canada around 1900.

Isn’t this dangerous to write about – Murray?  I mean – will people be offended?

But not all my friends had American Roots.  Many in Saskatchewan have European roots. 

We never used the “N” word in common ways or used it to speak down to someone that was in need to being put down… we used the expression “DP”. 

“DP” was way lower on the scale of condemnation than “nigger” was.


Yep “DP” was common.  “DP” stood for “Displaced Person(s)” – someone that came from another country and has a strange accent in their English Language.  They were usually Ukrainian or Polish or German – anything different than we were. 

Funny thing was that I had lots of Ukrainian, Polish and German friends.  All of them could speak perfect English.  They weren’t “DP”s… they were my friends. 

But the other people that were “DP”s were old people that smelled funny and dressed weird.  They had no kids that I knew about and lived alone.  Everyone knew they were “different” and dressed “different”.  They came from other countries in the last few years – something about wars where they lived… 

But when using the “DP” term about a “friend” or “acquaintance” it was in jest. Everyone knew that… and often called their friend a “DP” – when they wanted to call him down a little. 

Now if some one on the school ground started a fight and beat you up… in your anger… you labeled him a “DP” – one of the lowest of low in any community. 

A “DP” was the lowest and slowest of people…not able to speak good English… like we could… and their accent was really funny. 

Now to set this attitude in the right place… it all happened within a radius of four blocks of 1422 Elliott Street, in Regina, Saskatchewan… the extreme lower side of the city… where people like us could afford a house and live. 

There was no running water and no sewage system. We all had outhouses to go relieve ourselves in… and all of these were situated at the back of the property – maybe 10 feet away from the other person’s outhouse.  You could yell at your friend from your toilet if he was in his toilet.

We were all poor in comparison to the rest of the city that had running water for over 50 years. 

And poor areas were where poor people lived… and tough people… and immigrant people… and farmer and small town people coming to the city to try to get a start… like us. 

We were all “DP”s. 

In fact every Canadian was a “DP” in the site of the Aboriginal people.  But we called them “Indians” and shot them in our games of “Cowboys and Indians”.  

No one wanted to be an Indian… so we made our little brothers and sisters Indians… so we could shoot them when they least expected it. 

Now when we were tired of playing Cowboys and Indians – we switched to
“GI and Japs”. 

The “GI” was an American Soldier – tough and smart.  Japs were Orientals that were not so smart and definitely hated.  Funny thing is that you couldn’t even get your younger brother to be the Japs.  Japs were hated so bad that no one would be a JAP. 

A JAP was short for Japanese… those people that killed so many GIs at Pearl Harbor.  They had killed thousands of Canadians all over the Pacific.  They were our enemies.

The Korean War was on when we played Cowboys and Indians, GIs and Japs.  And we didn’t know what a Korean was in Regina, Saskatchewan… they were all “Japs” too. 

How odd today… I have more Korean friends than others. I know many Japanese who happen to be some of the kindest and most refined people that I have ever met.  The fact that either people groups would allow this “N” word using, Indian killing Cowboy, Jap shooting GI into their home is amazing.  Simply amazing.

So yes I am amazed and shocked as I read about a little girl that has been taught to think in very anti-community ways.  I am amazed that their still are Canadians like her parents that think so stupidly and act STUPID.

But now my grandkids have substituted using bad words of any kind – and instead they simply use “STUPID” as a really, big time, down putting word to some one that they don’t understand… 

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Please note... later evening post at

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Soccer Cheers by Bruce Lindsay

Soccer Cheers by Bruce Lindsay

This year I’m coaching a City Representative (Rep) team for the first time. I’ve been a soccer coach for 10 years, but always in House League soccer. That league wasn’t very competitive.
This league is.

All the girls on my team were great house-league players. These were the girls whose names you would see in the paper for scoring goals and winning games if you ever looked. But I’m coaching the B team. There is an A and a B team. The A team’s coach had first choice of all the girls who tried out. He took the tall ones, the best athletes; the best of the best; the pick of the crop. We have the others. Good players, but short or skinny or just less aggressive and a little timid. The B team is a development team, or a reserve team. In short, we’re not expected to do very well.

We had a tournament a couple weeks ago and lost all 4 games. We had our first game of the season last night and lost it too.

The Rep league is professional. I have a uniform now and the girls have 2 uniforms (home and away) complete with different colored socks, jerseys and all. They have warm up sweat-suits and practice jerseys and matching back-packs, all first class stuff. There is much more red-tape. Each girl and coach has a book – like a passport, to prove they are eligible to play in the game. Large fines are given to teams that play ineligible players.

Players and coaches sit on one side of the field; the parents and family sit on the other. Nobody is allowed on the goal sidelines. Players have warm up time. They shake hands with the coaches of the other team before the games. They shake hands with all the parents after the games. But the coolest thing about Rep soccer is the cheering.


The girls made up that cheer and they do before each game. It gets them pumped up and ready to go. There’s a little girl named Nicole who is always making up more cheers and all the girls are ready to learn more and more. Part of the fun is to out-cheer the other team and to shout your head off.

In the tournament, we lost the first game about 6-0. The game was closer than the score. It was only 2-0 until the last 10 minutes of the game. But the next game we lost 11-0. That is losing UGLY!

In that game, when the score was already about 10-0, Nicole came off the field as a new shift went on. Then she started to make up cheers.
And then:

The other team is sitting only 20 meters away and I could see them looking at her like she was from another planet. I know they were thinking, “Don’t you understand this game? WE’RE KILLING YOU!”

But something about Nicole’s relentless cheering made the game fun and exciting. The other girls picked it up and we played better. We only gave up 1 goal in the last 10 minutes.


The next game we played better. We lost only 1-0. In the final game we finally got a goal. We lost 5-1. But getting a goal made us all feel like we won. The cheers kept coming and they played their hearts out.


It occurred to me that the reason the cheering helps is not just that it improves your team spirit and makes playing more fun, but it’s also simple encouragement! We all need encouragement. But especially when you’re short, skinny, less aggressive, a little timid, and you’re being pushed around and bullied by a team of 5 foot monster-girls.

I have a talk I always give to players who are acting timid. I talk about how they need to act like an 800-pound Gorilla. They need to move more like a gorilla and even growl like one. This actually helps. The girls move more to the balls of their feet with their knees bent and their hands lower. This ‘set’ position is great for goal-tending but also for other players. It will take time, practice and encouragement for our team to be able to compete though. In the meantime, cheering will help.

I made up a cheer before our first league game. I knew we’d need it. We did. Here it is. (Shout it out in a Gorilla voice and jump around in a circle when you shout it.)

We lost the game 17-0. But the girls were all walking back to their cars cheering, “AAA-OOH OOH-OOH-OOH! AAA-OOH OOH-OOH-OOH!”

They still had fun!

That’s the power of cheers. That’s the power of encouragement.
There’s a commercial, where a woman’s chocolate bar got stuck in a vending machine. She was going to give up and walk away, but then a man behind her began to cheer for her.
The woman began pushing the vending machine and bumping it with her hips, rocking it and slamming it. Finally the chocolate bar fell out. She picked it up in triumph and held it high. The man was cheering now and clapping.

Do you know someone who is down? Is there a job that seems too difficult for them? Why not make up a cheer to help them make it through. Help them get it done!

Here’s one for my wife…

And she can shout for me…
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Thanks Bruce...
~ Murray Lincoln ~

Monday, May 25, 2009


I am unsure who is more stretched or stressed – me or my chicken – “Thunder”.

Yesterday was his break out of jail. He was loose and working toward becoming a “free range” chicken… running the yard from 11 AM until 6:00 PM.

His reaction was almost predictable in that he or she is a “chicken”. In other words it is afraid of almost everything that is alive and moves. Talk about a ‘big chicken’.

While “Thunder”(named by my granddaughter Emma) was in the backyard and in the open, a black bird swooped over the area. Thunder was sent running for his life because he or she didn’t know what had just swooped over its head.

Thunder has found a corner area under a bush that must feel like a safe place. For nearly seven hours he pecked his way under the bush – loving every area of that seclusion and freedom.
As I watched the drama of the chicken in the backyard alone a huge Bumble Bee flew in to look over the tree and possible resting places under the bush. When it buzzed in and the ‘Big Chicken’ came running out from under the bush cover. Without ever having witnessed the danger of the Bumble Bee before he or she knew that it was not a good idea to mess with this black and yellow guy.

Thunder was stretched by his or her new home outside. Not knowing what to do with its surroundings that were unfamiliar. It was scared of everything. Ducking from shadows and running from bugs… flat out as hard as the legs would propel it.

Man have I learned a few lessons from this bird.

He is so much like a human being. No wonder we call some humans “chickens” in English.

We don’t do change easily do we?

As I reflect back on this past year I can definitely see the “Thunder” in me – that is the “chicken” in me. Running from the shadows of “not knowing” all that might happen to me and the “dark places of uncertainty”. Ducking from the fear of “what if”.

Oh this chicken has taught me lots.

When he or she is picked up – the complaints are loud and long. Talk about squawking! WOW! If someone is listening to what is said by this bird and could understand they would hear “MURDER! HELP SAVE ME!”

It simply doesn’t like change of any kind.

Under the big tree in our back yard is a pile of short cedar logs from an old split rail fence. One top of the rail yesterday was a fuzzy caterpillar.

You got to know a chicken like Thunder… this meant that the fuzzy caterpillar needed to be pecked at…over and over again. Well fuzzy caterpillars are filled with an odd green ooze that drips out slowly when it is pecked over and over again.

Thunder got a beak full of nasty tasting stuff that he or she then tried to wipe away the ‘foul’ taste. The side to side action of its beak rubbing on the walkway was funny.

Stupid bird bit something it should not have.

Oh boy is that like a human being or what. Sticking our nose into something that is not our business is all too common. Or worse yet looking into some thing that is simply not good for us is always possible.

But as chickens go – Thunder is amazing in decoration and colouring. The small fringe of brown neck feathers mixed with black is pretty fancy for a chicken… but the bright blue shimmer on the back that shine in the sun are startling.

This bird must be related to a Peacock!

I haven’t seen any signs of vanity yet – but give it time. His people counter parts sure have that one wrapped up with their strutting around like Peacocks.

I sat on the porch of our house yesterday enjoying the sun, the clear blue sky and the sound of a dove cooing. Suddenly I was a million miles from the old “Chicken Experience”, run and hide, duck and dive, scratching around for nothing and squawking when things change.

I made a commitment to my self yesterday – I don’t want to be a chicken anymore in anything that I do. I am okay being me.

How are you doing?

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I am retired and Steve is not

My Friend Steve Chaloner sent the following text via an MS Doc. Steve is the Regional Director for Africa with our Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. Steve is the person that I worked closely with on trip to Africa in 2007.

Steve is a very busy person. If you will take time to read what he does in the course of the week – and I have been harried with feeding four mouths.

I am retired and Steve is not. Bless you my brother Steve…. Bless you and slow down a little.

You can contact Steve at to tell him you are praying for him.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

From Steve Chaloner RD for Africa
RD stands for Regional Director (for Africa), but what does an RD do? Here’s a bit of a snapshot based on this past week:

Monday night I arrived back in Nairobi from Canada – RD’s (there are 5 of us) go to Canada twice a year for top-level leadership and strategy meetings with PAOC’s National Leadership team. That’s where we report on progress and challenges in our mission to see nations changed through transformed people. I usually stay a little longer to connect with our supporting churches and find new ones. This time I also took in 2 District Conferences (Alberta and N.W. Territories, Eastern Ontario) and interviewed 4 couples for ministry opportunities in Africa.

Tuesday morning, jet-lagged (8am Kenya time is 1am in Ontario) I went into the office for devotions with the staff, showed off a photo of my new grandson, and signed the forms for my Burundi visa for my Friday trip. I’m excited about my first trip there and the upcoming seminars with pastors in this land of 8.5 million. Later that morning after a few telephone calls to announce my return, I checked on my vehicle and the battery was totally dead and after vain attempts to resuscitate it with jumper cables and a mains charger, I capitulated and bought another. It was good to go for a walk up our street and meet and greet so many familiar faces – Mohammed the taxi driver, different vendors, some rough and tumble guys from one of the neighbouring slums who I have befriended, and then to plunge my fingers into some good Kenyan food – Wimbi, Sukuma Wiki, and Cuku (thick brown maize meal, bitter greens, and chicken) - “finger-licking good! “Rain stopped play” later that day, so I didn’t get my headlight change finished.

Wednesday after devotions I looked after some of my emails and then received Rev. Godiah, a District overseer of PAG (Pentecostal Assemblies of God) a fellowship of thousands of churches that the Lord used PAOC to pioneer and plant in Kenya. It was good to see him again and to learn that he wanted to schedule another leadership development seminar for the pastors he supervises. We have a growing relationship and he likes to bounce ideas off me and to know how we handle certain issues in PAOC. High on my list of priorities that day was to nail down the fine details of my Burundi trip including finances, ministry expectations and to plan the upcoming ministry in Uganda with the PAG General Superintendent, Rev. Simon Peter. We will be together in Burundi and then travel to various ministry locations in Uganda. Once I leave for Burundi on Friday I will not be back in Kenya until May 28th. Mental note to cram 2 weeks of clothing into my carry-on – I’m getting this packing deal down to a science!

Thursday I started packing my bag for my Friday 5.30 am departure – started my check list – visa, ticket, passport, vaccination book, cash, data-projector, mp3 player etc. and then headed to an 8.30am Board of Governor’s meeting of Pan Africa Christian University. This is one of PAOC’s most strategic training initiatives in the world and I am glad to be a part of it. Our agenda Thursday was the formalization of trustees, the composition of the Council and deliberations on current developments including the construction of the new academic building which began in March. If you are still with me, make a note to pray for PAC University – you can find a link to it through the Kauufeldts on this page. Back in my office – more emails, preparation for the weekend including buying a few meds for just-in-case scenarios. It’s always easier to have them with you than try and find them somewhere! Late Thursday afternoon I met with an exiting missionary from Mozambique, Mark McGyver Haug and his son Jonathon. Heather and I have been Jonathon’s (and his sister, Esther’s) guardians while attending RVA Boarding School. Mark and Donna have had to make a tough decision to leave the field to look after Esther’s educational challenges, so it was good to debrief with Mark and just be with Jonathon who just loves Africa and hates to leave it. It was great to hear how the Lord has provided for the continuance of the ministry in Zambezia and for the Haug’s personal needs in terms of housing, a donated vehicle, and all kinds of other interlocking details - “All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes”.

Friday – still struggling with jet-lag – I was on my feet at 3am, so the 5.30 departure to the airport was a breeze. Checked-in, I was delighted to meet Pr. Franco from Kampala Pentecostal Church in the airport. He was just returning from an international conference in Hong Kong on the theme – Discipling the Nations. We RD’s had just been given a copy of the book so it was great to interact with Franco on the subject and benefit from his first-hand exposure to the author’s teachings. The central idea is that Conversion brings transformation to society. I’m still struggling a bit – not with that so much as what I see as a problematic title. Did Christ send us to disciple nations – or to make disciples out of the nations? – I’ll let you know how I resolve it. Caught my flight to Bujumbura – several empty seats which surprised me. Guess it’s not a totally popular destination – it is one of the poorest countries in the world and has suffered so much from the ravages of war. Arrived on time and got my first contact with Burundians. Interesting! They don’t seem to understand British decorum and the concept of a queue! One guy barged right in front of me in the passport inspection line-up without any comment or hesitation, Others did likewise. Whites are not owed any privileges here. I was in no hurry but admit I was chuffed when an official boosted me up to the front of the line. Soon I was in the airport arrivals expecting to see Bishop Katihabwa. He showed up about 3 hours later! Sooo – I put in a few hours waiting, trying out my pidgin French and learning a few words in Kirundi. People were sympathetic to my wait and soon someone told me there was a coffee shop upstairs – 40 stairs to be exact! I took one of the customs officials for coffee with me. I do enjoy meeting people!

After Bishop Katihabwa and a group of pastors arrived we went to meet 100 Congolese pastors who had crossed the border for a 1 day conference and were waiting to meet us before returning. These pastors are heroes! I talked with Clement who had WALKED 300 km to get to the meeting and asked him what he saw on the way - “rebel soldiers who had to be bribed for safe passage” … snakes by the dozen … a leopard … chimpanzees … monkeys, and lots lots more! I wondered if could ever walk 300km – I guess I could, but not in the 6 days he took – 50k’s a day! Men like Clement walk all over Congo and Burundi risking their lives to preach the Gospel – what an example to Canadian arm-chair Christians! After sharing a word with the pastors we started off on our journey to Ngozi. It’s amazing that we made it in one piece and didn’t kill anyone on the way! Bosco was the worst (or best) driver I have ever been with. It seemed like whenever he saw the roads crowded with pedestrians he sped up as he blasted on the horn! Was I ever glad I had given Simon Peter the front seat! We later decided that Bosco must have been a soldier who was trained to drive as fast a possible to avoid the explosion of landmines.

On arrival at Ngozi (meaning Drum) we went immediately to the church – albeit 3 hours later than expected! A loyal crowd of local believers and some pastors were still waiting for us – others had gone home or to wherever they were staying. We sang and danced and then greeted the church shared a few words from Scripture and dismissed them in favour of the next day’s meetings. We were then escorted to the hotel where they had decided we should stay – the best hotel in town! My chance to protest that we do not need the best – but they wanted to make sure that we were safe. It would merit about 2 stars in our hotel system and at $20 a night I slept with an easy conscience!

Saturday – Breakfast over we met with the provincial leadership of the PAG (Pentecostal Assemblies of God) Church. All protocol observed - the essence of the meeting was for the them to brief us on the challenges they are facing and allow us to respond on how PAOC and the PAOA (Pentecostal Assemblies of Africa) might assist them. The rest of the day was spent in leadership seminars – one of our major contributions to church development.

Sunday – Tipped off by my interpreter, I suggested that I would to do two seminars in the church where I ministered. Simon Peter was not so fortunate and sat through 5 hours of choirs before being allowed to preach!

Monday – checking out the hotel at 7am, we headed for breakfast at the home a local pastor who would take us to Bujumbura’s Maximum-Security jail for a service. Over breakfast we heard how he started the ministry. Imprisoned for 3 months, Pr. Yamba Muhabura is a living example of how God brings good out of bad. Instead of mourning his predicament he used his time to win convicts to Jesus. Upon his release he left his first convert, saved and filled with the Holy Spirit to pastor them. I will never forget the service in the jail – 600 of the 3,000 convicts dancing and praising the Lord! Such life! Such liberty! My mind flashed to the book of Daniel where his friends, bound by the King and thrown into the furnace, not only survived but were found walking lose in the presence of the Son of Man. Think of it – hundreds of convicts serving thousands of years in prison sentences are now saved, baptised in the Holy Spirit and evangelising their fellow-inmates. More than 20 prisoners gave their lives to Jesus that morning before we witnessed the ordination of the new pastor and leadership team for the prison-church (along with several others, the existing pastor is scheduled to be released after 10 years of jail time). Without a doubt we want to serve into that ministry and look forward to linking them with Dean Skinner and Emmanuel Press which specializes in evangelistic literature and discipleship courses. Join us in prayer for this exciting next step!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Too Tired To Think - The 4 Ts

Man oh Man – I miss my wife… It is the Women’s Retreat Weekend – so I am alone with three other mouths to feed… and thinking ahead for each meal is exciting for about the first three – then it becomes work.

And Thunder is still in need of food too. So it is four other mouths.

Thank goodness for Costco and quick hot dogs at $1.79 each. Wahoo Grandpa is a miracle worker today.

A simple reflection – I appreciate my wife.

This is posted late… as I am about to slip into bed exhausted… I have been both Mom and Dad to my family today.

I need to do this at least once a year to really know what a GEM God has given me.

I would like to write some profound words tonight… but nothing is coming – I am just too tired to think!

Oh Boy… I love my wife!!!!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Friday, May 22, 2009

Norm is amazing!

Norm is amazing! He cares for the people that he works with. The compassion shows as he led us through the hallways of the Regional Treatment Center – which is part of the very old Kingston Penitentiary.

Alida and I were walking with Norm, a correctional officer with CSC, through some of the corridors of the very large prison in Canada. We were meeting the people that care for some of the prisoners that suffer from mental illness of all different kinds. And because of their crimes, which were often related to their mental illness, they are now in prison.

If I could actually describe for you what I have seen, it may be hard for you to cope with the images, the sadness at times, and the needs that were before us mixed with happiness as well. But I really am not allowed to tell you any more than this much – sorry.

On this visit we met some of the staff, simply nodding to others and doing the digestion of my first personal feelings of what I am witnessing – I am very impressed – very, very impressed first with the staff.

Next I was impressed with the offenders that we have met. Polite and kind are two words that make sense. Some men are very old and some are very young. Many have very great needs.

One man was very happy to show us his room and thanked us for coming. What a delight to see his efforts to keep his room clean and decorated.

WHY are you doing this Lincoln?
I am part of a group of people that care very much for their fellow human beings. I am a CAC member that volunteers time to listen, watch, and share words if needs be.

The CAC is short for Citizen’s Advisory Committee – which is mandated by the Federal Correctional Services Canada to be the eyes and ears of the Public of Canada looking in on the way that CSC looks after its offenders.

In this case they have asked me to look to the needs of the men that suffer from mental illness.

But as much as I am looking at what they do – they are looking at me too. No doubt they need to look over this new “do gooder” and check him(and her) out for their spots and weird characteristics.

For the past ten years I have been a CAC member working in the local Peterborough Parole Office with some amazing staff and also the great ex-offenders. This volunteer work continues with each monthly meeting and the contacts during the week.

Now it may expand further as we work towards the further care of offenders in prison and a better understanding of ex-offenders coming from prison.

I have heard different stats lately as I have made myself more aware of the needs the Correctional Service Canada is facing.

Approximately 70% of the people that enter the Prison system in Canada are dealing with some level of mental health issues. No they are not all crazy!

But they do face depression, chemical imbalances and a variety of other very serious needs – just like the local people of any congregation I have ever had the privilege to serve as their Pastor.

More specifically… Richard J. Brennan from the Toronto Star wrote…
OTTAWA – Up to 20 per cent of federal inmates suffer from "significant" mental illness and the problem is most pronounced among female prisoners, Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan says.

And Van Loan traces the problem back to the 1970s, when provincial psychiatric hospitals across Canada were closed.

"It appears to be in the range of 15 to 20 per cent that have ... fairly significant mental health issues and the problems tend to be more prevalent among the female population," the minister told reporters this week.

According to Correctional Service Canada, 12 per cent of men and 21 per cent of women are now identified as having a mental health disorder when they enter the penal system.

Offenders and ex-offenders are no different than the ordinary person sitting in church – except maybe that they were caught and convicted for crimes committed.

(On the side – I know that there are congregants that haven’t been caught yet… but just wait….)
The needs that I have witnessed this week may well have been created by a community need where there has been a lack of mental services for the desperate families living there.

The needs may well have been created by ignorance as to where to go to get help – or simply the embarrassment factor and the deep shame that family member feel when their son or daughter lose it.

I am definitely not capable to have all the answers at this point. But I can testify to the fact that I am receiving a huge education through the circumstances presented around me.

I have prayed a prayer for a long time that has brought me often to very needy situations. Even after retiring I continued to pray this prayer… “God give me people that no body else can help…” that has been so much a part of what I have done for 35 years.

Fare warning… don’t pray it if you don’t want to act on it!
As this Blog is often my reflection of where I am in “my world” – you can understand better – I am deeply reflecting today… very deeply.

My questions…
“How can I help Norm and his fellow staffers do their tasks at hand – and not get in their way?”

“How can I help these men that will be released some day – as they will come out… to live on my street?”

“Do I care enough to give some time to care for a Prison System that is trying hard to do a good job?”

“Can I again ‘Observe, Liaise, and Advise’ in this situation and remain inspired as I get more involved?”

“Can I do this without acting like some “whacko religious person” – while I still maintain my own spiritual walk?”

“Can I find others that will help me take on this tremendous task?” I have a compassionate wife – but I need more… far more.

“Can I fully get my head around the task at hand?” This one is bigger than almost anything I have done before….

Oh boy… I gotta run… more meetings today. More opportunity to care… I had to pinch myself today… am I still alive… this is almost like Heaven… Oh boy!!

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Thursday, May 21, 2009

But this world is a little upside down....

My world is a little nuts right now… what about yours?

The headlines read… from the National Post
"I don't want our fans to think that we just pick up stakes and move on a whim. We don't. The only time it happens is when a franchise in effect has nobody who wants to own it, and is not functioning from an economic standpoint. As long as you have someone willing to step up and own it, you move forward." - Gary Bettman, in Toronto, Feb. 3, 2009
(And the Hockey Baloney continues – spoiled brat millionaires and powerful little men arguing over a silly hockey team…)

The headlines read….from the Washington Post
On the streets of the capital, billboards proclaim, "King Mahinda Rajapaksa: He saved us," beneath a photograph of the president hugging his brother Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka's defense minister, and apparently glorying in the military victory that this week ended more than a quarter-century of war with the Tamil Tiger separatists.

"Everyone's heartbeat is just like my song and the billboards," said Saheli Rochana Gamage, 21, whose rendition of the anthem has made her a celebrity in this small Indian Ocean island nation. "He should be our president forever. We are happy with a king who can protect our country. Elections don't matter."

At a time when insurgencies elsewhere seem to be expanding, notably in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Rajapaksa brothers were able to do what five Sri Lankan presidents, eight governments and more than 10 cease-fires could not: win a war against a movement that the FBI has called "the most ruthless and efficient terror organization in the world."

Despite the elation, however, the human cost of their accomplishment is also becoming clear: Power has been consolidated around a ruling family, a humanitarian crisis looms, and civil rights and media freedoms have been rolled back.

Then the article reflects…
Perhaps the most pressing problem is the situation of more than 280,000 people, mostly Tamils, who have been driven from their homes in recent months, many of them traumatized women and children who were used as human shields or forced to huddle in trenches or the jungle during fighting. They are now living in crowded, highly controlled government-run camps, fenced in by barbed wire. Sri Lanka stands at a crossroads, many here say.

Then the headlines read… from the…
Mulroney's tax deal standard practice in 2000, inquiry hears
The policy that allowed former prime minister Brian Mulroney to pay taxes on only half of the $225,000 he said he received from German-Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber was a standard practice at the time, a federal inquiry heard Thursday.

(My former Prime Minister didn’t pay enough taxes… didn’t know about it… was always right… and he had a hard time… poor Brian…)

I don’t know about you – but this world is a little upside down – isn’t it?

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Gary Bettman and
Sri Lanka
CBC report – Mulroney Tax Deal

Prison Days ~ But Good Days - The Best Days Yet

This post is the shortest ever... maybe more later.

I am on the run now to attend a meeting this AM in a federal Prison... some women drop their men off at the Prison Door - today I drop off my wife and also go inside with her as "guests" of the Government.


~ Murray Lincoln ~

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

80,000 people have been killed in the conflict and thousands displaced

“80,000 dead and thousands displaced”. So what… get on with life!

That statement alone is one that vibrates with emotions. It is added to the end of a short report this morning from BBC with the Tamil Tigers being defeated.

I can only imagine if we turned this story into fully Canadian one and made the reference points different to read this way…

“80,000 Aboriginal Canadians were killed – reports the Canadian Government – after a 26 year long fight over their rights. The Government has declared a National Holiday, Wednesday, May 20, 2009.”

Or maybe it would be better to say…
“80,000 Ukrainian Canadians were killed – reports the Canadian Government – after a 26 year long fight over their rights. The Government has declared a National Holiday, Wednesday, May 20, 2009.”

“80,000 Chinese Canadians were killed – reports the Canadian Government – after a 26 year long fight over their rights. The Government has declared a National Holiday, Wednesday, May 20, 2009.”

But… what does it matter – when most of the dead in Sri Lanka are “rebels”? Who gives a Ding Dong anyway?

It is a very sad day in Sri Lanka and around the world. I am republishing the following report from the BBC article of the morning – so that it will be on record and not lost as the news media moves on. I am not sure who to credit the article to and have only used the information stated.

I’ll just bet this one is not over yet…

This Blog is not read by Millions… but maybe – just maybe about 50 people today might read it and give a Ding Dong about a dieing people far away… Maybe…

~ Murray Lincoln ~

(From the BBC Wednesday - May 20, 2009 report)
Sri Lanka is marking a holiday on Wednesday to celebrate the defeat of Tamil Tiger rebels.

"The government has also asked all state institutions to fly the national flag for one week," an official said.

However state security forces said that they were on a state of high alert against revenge attacks from any remaining rebels.

On Tuesday pictures of the body of the man who is believed to be rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran were released.

The BBC's Charles Haviland in Colombo says that officially the holiday has been called as a mark of respect to troops who have defeated the Tamil Tigers.

There are still some delighted youths rushing into the roads waving the red, yellow, green and saffron national flag, our correspondent says, but with businesses firmly shut and stormy monsoon weather descending on the city, the streets are much quieter than they were.

The state English-language daily has the word "triumph" in huge blue letters on its front page, but Rajiva Wijesinha, one of the government's regular spokesmen, writes that he is glad that "vulgar triumphalism" has not broken out.

Mr Wijesinha wrote there was a need to plan for the future and bear in mind Tamil suffering.

The US, the UN and China - a key and growing ally of Sri Lanka - have all urged ethnic reconciliation on the island, with Washington calling for "new power sharing arrangements".

'Best of cowards'
The government has said that renegade Tamil Tiger leader Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan, also known as Colonel Karuna, has positvely identified Mr Prabhakaran's body.

Col Karuna defected from the rebels in 2004 and is now a government minister.

The defence ministry website has also released more details of Mr Prabhakaran's death. It said that he was found with no cyanide capsule, but with his identity card and the dog tag.

"He was certainly not man enough to fight a single battle against army, but instead tried to save his life until the last moment," it said.

"Not for a single second did he want to commit suicide, but tried to escape betraying his most loyal followers before a soldier shot him down.

"We are not going to comment on how he died... simply, he was the best of the cowards."

The ministry said that Mr Prabhakaran's body was found on Tuesday morning, contradicting earlier reports that it was discovered on Monday.

The army also says it has found the body of one of the last rebel leaders still unaccounted for. It said that the bullet-riddled head of the rebels' Sea Tiger wing, Soosai, was found by troops in marshy land on Tuesday evening.

"Our motherland has been completely liberated from separatist terrorism," President Rajapaksa told jubilant lawmakers in a nationally televised victory speech to parliament on Tuesday.

The president reached out to the mainly Hindu Tamil community - comprising about 20 million people - pledging that everyone in Sri Lanka should be able to live "in safety without fear and suspicion".

"All should live with equal rights. That is my aim," he said, briefly speaking in the Tamil language.

The president said that he would negotiate some form of power-sharing deal following the war and stressed the need for an agreement.

"We must find a homegrown solution to this conflict. That solution should be acceptable to all the communities," he said.

Our correspondent says that it is expected the government will devolve more power to the provinces giving Tamils more political say in some parts of the island.

Tamil politicians have said the government must address the causes of the long-running conflict.

The pro-rebel TamilNet website has not commented on reports of Mr Prabhakaran's death since it denied he was dead on Tuesday - before the release of photos depicting his body.

The Tigers had been fighting for a separate state for Tamils in the north and east of Sri Lanka since the 1970s.

About 80,000 people have been killed in the conflict and thousands displaced.

 1976 - LTTE formed
 1983 - First attacks by Tamil Tiger rebels; start of 'First Eelam War'
 Feb 2002 - Government and rebels sign ceasefire
 2004 - 2008 - Violence mounts
 Jan 2008 - Government pulls out of ceasefire agreement
 Jan 2009 - Government captures Tigers' Kilinochchi headquarters
 May 2009 - Government declares victory against Tigers

 Born November, 1954
 1972: Founded Tamil New Tigers (TNT), forerunner of LTTE
 Reputation as fearless and ruthless leader
 Pioneered use of suicide bombings in guerilla warfare
 Wanted in Sri Lanka and India

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A delight and joy at having friends from afar

“YOU peng zi yuan fang lai, bu yi le hu” – is a popular saying by Confucius to express “delight and joy at having friends from afar”. It is the best one that I can use here to tell you what we have experienced yesterday as “old friends” came to visit.

Doug and Gwen hacking dropped in for a visit – all the way from Saskatchewan! WOW!

We first met in 1991 as I became the pastor of the small church in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Doug and Gwen were there helping the church in every way possible. Doug served on the board of the church, with Gwen helping in everyway she could. That was the beginning of a friendship that is as bright today as it was way back 18 years ago – when we first bedded down in their living room that first night of our arrival in Yorkton.

Our direct contact with each other changed about 15 years ago was we were moved to another city with the ministry that we were called to. Over 15 years our meeting with each other has been once or twice – but only in larger settings where only a quick greeting was possible.

We now have two days together. Double WOW!

So much has happened since we last saw each other about 4 years ago and over the 15 years!!!
Doug completed his 25 year career with the RCMP as a police officer. In a series of unique twists and turns in his life he was directed to work and study the last three years at the Horizon College and Seminary in Saskatoon.

This next Sunday AM Doug will begin his new ministry as the Pastor of the Glaslyn Pentecostal Assembly, Glaslyn, Sask.

Yesterday and last evening we shared hundreds of stories and laughter with this great couple. What a journey we have each been on over the 18 years. It is an amazing journey – simply amazing.

As I watched them and listened to the amazing stories – I was warmed deeply inside with the old friendship from so long ago. Much has changed around each of us – but then nothing has changed at all.

Friendship does that. Friendship is deep and long lasting – it never dies. Even after a very long separation it is like time simply stood still – the friendship is still there and is re-ignited the minute that we see each other again.

Confucius’ expression YOU peng zi yuan fang lai, bu yi le hu” or “delight and joy at having friends from afar” is right on.

As I reflect back over the last 15 years of ministry and work that we both have gone through, there has been some very difficult times for each of us. But mixed with that has been the delights of all kinds, new friends for each of us from all over, and most of all the wonderful memories that have supported us so well.

As the four of us shared so many stories together, laughed long and deeply and listened closely – it was wonderful.

Early this morning as I thought of yesterday – I thought of heaven. Old men do that a lot you know. It is like a “soon to take place vacation” that is coming.

As I watched the sun rise today I thought of the delight that I am looking forward to as I leave this body.

Just like yesterday when Doug and Gwen arrived – the old friendship will spring alive when we see our old friends that have gone before us. Oh boy – there will be such a catch up time when we see our old friends and relatives that have died years ago.

I have so much that I would like to tell my dad about. I can’t wait to see my grandparents on both sides. Then there are my great parents and even more….

As we talked and talked and talked yesterday… I had a feeling that it was only a small taste of what heaven will be like.

I have to run. We have some tourist things to do today and so much more to talk about.

One of the things we did together yesterday was to spend some time beside Burliegh Falls – north of Peterborough. The water was high and rushed on… something like our lives together. But time stood still beside that mighty river. It was so much like our friendship – moving on with beauty that is fascinating.

~ Murray Lincoln ~