Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Need for La Santa Muerte or Jesus Malverde

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Today’s Blog Post

The Need for La Santa Muerte or Jesus Malverde

I am trying to understand who she is. She is everywhere in some people’s world. Her robes are white at times and other times a different colour. She often carries a Globe and a long handled Scythe. Her name can also be as follows according to Wikipedia…
Santa Muerte is referred to by a number of other names such as Señora de las Sombras ("Lady of the Shadows"), Señora Blanca ("White Lady"), Señora Negra ("Black Lady"), Niña Santa ("Holy Girl"), and La Flaca ("The Skinny One").
End Quote..

Now the Lady of Shadows may not be enough to protect you, at which time you will need Jesus Malverde. Jesus is dead. He died about a century ago from what I found out…hanged by the authorities.

Different people need The Lady or Jesus from what I have gleaned. People in the night pray to these saints to keep them safe from stray bullets that fly from machine guns blasting away at enemies… or single gun fire that is openly used to ward off the horrible and ugly… or to take out the horrible and ugly. These bullets come through the walls and kill your babies as you sleep.

I have been shocked by the terror that has spread all across parts of Mexico where La Santa Muerte (Saint Death) is worshiped. In other parts where Jesus Malverde is sought out there is much more rampant drug control. From what I read Jesus Malverde is looked to protect the people that might be slaughtered by the drug trafficers.

It is very complicated to say the least.

How can it be that this state of affairs exists at such a terrible level?

Well it seems that the USA and Canada’s need for drugs and drug use has fuelled the horrific killings. The folk in Mexico are fighting each other to maintain the right to transport the drugs to us.

Our desperate need for more illegal drugs has fuelled the killings and nightmares. Our own Government has become more effective in shutting down the flow of drugs into our country forcing the people below the border to become more powerful and frustrated to get the product moving.

The articles that I read focus on the death that is taking place around the drug trade and movement. It is tragic.

However the need and demand for more drugs north of the Border with the USA and Canada has maintained the flow.

I can surmise from the events that are happening that we live in a very sick world. That is an understatement to say the least!

Now my grandkids are going to grow up into this world shortly. They will chose occupations that will encounter some form of this tragedy – or be affected by it.

That disturbs me deeply.

I notice locally that many people go to Cuba rather than Mexico now. I believe it is less frightening… and dangerous from what I read.

This other world of Saints and Protection of Saints is so far removed from my world. At least it seems that way. Why bother writing about it?

A police officer that deals with this kind of underworld drug trade told me that my city of Peterborough is the new pipe line or the regions drug trade. It flows up the “pipe” from Pickering, Ajax, Whitby and Oshawa… out of Toronto and other parts.

The drug trade has reached us locally. The police officer said fighting this stuff and its flow is like putting a tea cup under Niagara Falls to bail the water. There is so much coming that it is shocking.


Because people need it… demand it… and there is a market that is quickly growing.

I wonder how long it will be before we need La Santa Muerte – or Jesus Malverde?

My encouragement for you today is read more about what is taken place. Be aware… or become aware. It is serious folks.

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lois Gibbs – the Heroine of Niagara Falls

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(Post Script to the April 27th Posting – I didn’t die at 5 PM but lived to do more yard work!)

Today’s Blog Post

Lois Gibbs – the Heroine of Niagara Falls

Have you ever heard of Lois Gibbs? She is 59 years old now – does that give you a hint? Many that lived through the 1978 era will possibly remember her. If you were anywhere near the Toronto area – or Buffalo you would have heard of her. Any guesses yet?

If I told you she had a 7 year old boy in 1978 attending his school near by – would that help? If I told you that her younger child, a daughter became very sick along with her older brother – would that help? How about… they were becoming sick because they went to that school and also because of their house?

Still not enough clues?

How about… if I add words Niagara Falls, New York to the clue list? No? Then maybe if I add the words “Love Canal” – would that help?

Lois Gibbs was a shy and quiet housewife that had difficulty speaking to other people. In her early years she would be no different than any other mom that got her kids ready for school and then went off to do her thing locally. She was like other women at the time that were stay at home moms.

Lois Gibbs today is the executive director of “CHEJ” or “Center for Health, Environment and Justice”. It was first called “Citizens' Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste” – which kind of sounded like they might be selling off Hazardous Waste of some sort.

She has received a number of awards and degrees for what she accomplished and is still working at. She has lost her family through it but remarried a supporter that continues to work alongside of her.

This week she has become another one of my heroes or heroines.

I just completed the reading of Niagara – A history of the Falls by Pierre Berton. Pierre alone was a Canadian Hero for me. His books were many… and this one may have been his last. He died in 2004 at 84 years old.

As I look back at the story of the Love Canal which was directly across the Lake Ontario from Toronto and Oakville, I am thunder struck in 2010 to realize that I was not that concerned for what was happening in 1978 – across the Lake from where I lived.

To bring it home a little closer, the water that I drank at that time was from Lake Ontario. And when you read the whole story of Niagara you will realize that not only was the Love Canal leaching tons of some of the most horrible toxins the world has known into the ground around it – it was also eventually making its way into Lake Ontario… YUK!

Between 1976 and 1978 a local reporter by the name of Michael Brown wrote stories about the tragedy unfolding.

But the Love Canal started much earlier than that…
Quote from the Wikipedia site…
“The name Love Canal came from the last name of William T. Love, who in the early 1890s envisioned a canal connecting the two levels of the Niagara River separated by Niagara Falls. He believed it would serve the area's burgeoning industries with much needed hydroelectricity; however, the power scheme was never completed due to limitations of direct current (DC) power transmission, and Tesla's introduction of alternating current (AC). Furthermore, the Panic of 1893 caused investors to no longer sponsor the project. Congress also passed a regulation in which water was not to be removed from the Niagara river because Congress wanted to preserve the Niagara Falls.

After 1892, Love's plan changed to incorporate a shipping lane that would bypass the Niagara Falls in order to reach Lake Ontario. He began to envision a perfect urban area called "Model City" and prepared a plan that called for the construction of a vast community of beautiful parks and homes along Lake Ontario. Unfortunately for Love, his plan was never realized. He was barely able to start digging the canal and build a few streets and homes before his money ran out. Only one mile (1.6 km) of the canal, about 50 feet (15 m) wide and 10 to 40 feet (3 m to 12 m) deep, stretching northward from the Niagara River, was ever dug.

There is little information about those who actually worked for Love. Historically, canal building was exhausting, dirty and often very dangerous. Immigrants were usually the workers selected to perform this arduous work and additionally, before even digging, all the trees and vegetation needed to be removed.

With the project abandoned, the canal gradually filled with water. The local children swam there in the summer and skated in the winter. At some time in the 1920s, the canal became a dumping site for the municipality of Niagara Falls. By the 1940s, a company by the name of Hooker Electrochemical Company (later known as Hooker Chemical Company) founded by Elon Hooker began a search for a dump to store the increasing amount of chemical waste it was producing. Hooker was granted permission by the Niagara Power and Development Company in 1942 to dump its wastes in the Love Canal. The canal was drained and lined with thick clay. Into this site, Hooker began placing fifty-five gallon metal or fibre barrels. This dumpsite was in operation until 1952 in which 21,000 tons of chemicals such as "caustics, alkalines, fatty acids and chlorinated hydrocarbons from the manufacturing of dyes, perfumes, solvents for rubber and synthetic resins" were added. These chemicals were buried at a depth of between twenty to twenty-five feet. In 1947, Hooker bought the canal and the seventy foot wide banks on either side of the canal. After 1952, the canal was covered with dirt and vegetation such as grass began to grow on top of the dumpsite.”
End Quote

From some where after 1942 when the barrels of chemicals started to leak until the 1970s… many people were dieing and the ones that didn’t were simply sick. The toxic waste leaked and leaked and leaked making its way to the river and the Lake Ontario.

And we drank it.

Pierre Berton pointed out that at Niagara Falls they have a regular service that pulls out the dead bodies of people that commit suicide by jumping into the river above or below the falls. Some are found others are not.
When they shut down the American Falls at Niagara the engineers found some interesting things in the falls path. The first was a body of man that was caught on the rocks half way up… then further down was the body of a lady. Both were possible suicides. If the falls had not been shut down for repairs these may well have been there until the natural process took place.

And we drank it.

Mind you Toronto and the surrounding areas are good citizens and simply put the water that they take out of Lake Ontario – back into the Lake a little further out. This is done so that cities further down stream can use it when it gets their way. And they can drink it too.

But before the water ever reaches Niagara Falls it has been used by all the cities along the Lake Erie an Lake Huron and Lake Superior for maybe years before Toronto gets it. It is the best filtered water in the world I am sure – both my human means and by mechanical means.

And we all drank it.

Now if you live in Saskatchewan or Manitoba.. or even Alberta – you should be OK. BC however.. you cannot be sure which bear used it first…

The more I think it through and ponder what has taken place around me… I admire Lois Gibbs and her people. They have done things the rest of us have never even thought about… let alone cared. We just drank it!

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I think I am going to die today

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Today’s Blog Post

I think I am going to die today!

I think I am going to die today. It will not be within the possible 10 to 15 years that was originally projected and planned. It will be today. And if it is not today it will be tomorrow for sure.

I have worked out at the gymnasium for about 5 days a week for 8 months steady. I have pushed and pulled and run and walked and done just about every machine in that huge complex. I have sweated and grunted hour after hour just to try and get healthier. I have worked to get my heart rate up to around 125 to 145 beats a minute for at least 15 minutes at a time.

I mean I am not bragging, but I have done 200% more than most of my friends that grunt and groan when they look for the remote to change channels on the TV.

One of my friends told me that he has to hold his breath to do up his shoes… if he doesn’t he sees stars… and twinkling thingies in his head. If he has a knot in his laces he has to get his wife to untie his shoes because he can’t stay down that long.

I am like an Olympian compared to some of my fellow retirees!

But I am sure that I am going to die today. That is the way my body feels now.


Yesterday I tried to keep up to my wife as she did her garden work. We started after lunch and went through until about 4:45 PM… 3 hours and 45 minutes of stretching, grunting, pulling, pushing and lifting.

The goal yesterday was to plant three ornamental pear trees, clean up the clematis vines and do some small jobs around the yard. That certainly doesn’t seem like much… except for the length of time…but is it ever.

Today I have stiffness in almost every one of my muscles and I am sure that it is “death” creeping in slowly… and that it will take me before 5 PM this afternoon. Oh Lord, am I ever sore!

For 35 years I have avoided this kind of strenuous work. I always made my way to the office early and stayed late… I drank coffee and talked to people, stretching my mind. I prepared sermons and information for Board Meetings. I prayed… and prayed lots… and every one knows how hard praying is!

All that time my wife has kept doing her gardening each spring and throughout the summer. She has complained about stiffness a little. She flops into bed and is sound asleep in a matter of minutes. And when I encourage her that she should join the Gym with me… she roles over and goes to sleep.

Now with retirement and more time to help her… I have been fitting into her schedule in the backyard more… and I now know that the Gym has not helped me one bit!

I have paid good dollars out to get my healthy routines going and have lost weight, tightened up and feel better… BUT some how never found an exercise machine in that Multi Million Dollar Complex that will work the muscles that gardening does!

Now I know why my wife will live longer than I will. It is the reason that most women will outlive their husbands by an average of 15 to 20 years!

Googling the soreness that I have… by typing in “exercise and gardening” – I hit upon an amazing site that had some answers. It is shown below in the “Sources” line…

Here is the list of suggestions the author has presented…
Your Program
Week 1: Stretch: Trunk Rotation Exercise: Abdominal Marching Abdominal Arm Raises
Week 2: Stretch: Back/Shoulder Stretch Exercise: One Arm Row
Week 3: Stretch: Chest/Shoulder Stretch Exercise: Wall Push -Up 1
Week 4: Stretch: Leg Stretches- Calf Stretch Hamstring Stretch Hip Stretch Quad Stretch Exercise: Squat Toe/ Heel Raises
Week 5: Exercise: Plate/Pot Raise Wall Push-Up 2
Week 6: Exercise: Curls

Now if I get what the author is saying, she or he is suggesting that I do this routine for six weeks before the gardening season begins… or I will be sorry.

Today I am sorry. And I am sure that I will die before 5 PM.

But the Gym didn’t hurt me either. When I began last summer I was in terrible shape. The fact is that I had too much shape.

When I tried the tread mill machine and got the speed up to high… my belly started to do a side to side swinging motion as I ran… so I slowed down! Now it doesn’t swing from side to side so much.

When I did the wicked step machine at first the stupid computer inside tried to kill me. As it increased the resistance with each step I thought my heart would explode… but now it is much easier and I can take almost anything that it gives me.

And one thing that the Gym gives me is the “Bull Session” with the folks afterward. We sit for almost an hour and laugh a lot at the tall stories that everyone tells. It is loosely called the “Wisdom Club” and has grown to two tables now.

I should be there right now, just finishing the weights and the walk…but I am too darn sore… and think I will die before 5 PM.


~ Murray Lincoln ~


Monday, April 26, 2010

Invisible Fences of the Mind and to Spurtles

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Today’s Blog Post
Invisible Fences of the Mind and to Spurtles
What a delight to take part in a new adventure! I think the last time that I felt this kind of deep stirring was the night that we departed the aircraft in Nairobi, Kenya in 2007. We had travelled what seemed to a million miles from home. We were absolutely unfamiliar about our new surroundings and had no idea of the adventure ahead of us.

Come to think of it, I felt that too when I went to Irian Jaya in Indonesia just after the 911 tragedy in New York – September 2001. There was no way to know what was lying ahead of my life. That month in Indonesia was amazing – simply amazing…

I can only imagine the adventure that others may have been on as well – yesterday morning when we walked into the building at 319 Queen Street in Port Perry, Ontario. They were the ones that would be totally familiar with this place and had a great advantage over me. Yet they likely will be just as frightened by the possibility of me being in their territory.

I stood quietly listening for some form of life as we entered the door. One older gentleman came up to shake my hand and welcomed me heartily. Great start!

Question 1 that entered my mind… “Would they accept me, after all you are so very different than what they are used to?”

Question 2 that came right along… “How much will you and How far will you “Blow It Today” by forgetting what comes next in the order of what you will be doing?

Reminding myself that a great deal will be discovered in the first 15 minutes of my entrance, I took a deep breath. After all… when the stroke of 11:30 AM arrives later you will be ready to run, escape, hide, or just plain die – if you blow it or miss your mark this day….

No pressure there at all… none whatsoever.

But then Jesus has said to me “I will won’t leave you alone you big ninny… I will be there to pick up the pieces when you feel like throwing up or simply dieing on the spot!”

After walking around to scope out the land I slipped into a bathroom… oh boy… amazing… what a beautiful bathroom… accessible by everyone. And as I walked out… there is a brand new elevator – too cool – someone did a lot of thinking about this place.

Now I have led you on long enough… here is what is happening in my surroundings.

I am a Pentecostal Minister and have been for over 35 years. I am fairly free and easy in what I do. I can roll with the punches – go with the flow of almost any kind of freedom that may happen in a Sunday Worship Service.

And the church is St. John’s Presbyterian Church that has its origins dating back to just about 150 years ago. It has a strong Scottish history and quite likely some of the folks will have a fairly strong Scottish accent. And for sure they have a well laid out service order that is printed clearly for all to see in their church bulletins. So…. If the minister misses something or does something out of order from the norm… most everyone will notice pretty quickly.

They don’t know that I can be the “King of Out of Order” most of the time. In fact my major Degrees – Graduate, Post Graduate and Doctorate is in “BOOO” – that is “Bachelor Out of Orderness”. That is written this way but I tend not to write it out too often… “The Reverend Murray Lincoln, BOO, MOOO, and PhDOOO.”

The sign writers seldom get it correct as they are laughing too hard when they try to apply their brushes to their work!

The Choir assembled in the anti room just off the platform, robbed and bubbling. I prayed for them and me… and they led us from the room to the platform.

Oh no… I forgot… there are two pulpits on this platform… a left and right… which one do I use? I quickly whispered to the friendly Choir man walking just ahead of me… “Where do I sit?”… he countered in his whisper with a grin… “The one on the right…”

Deep breath now… smile… enter gracefully… no panic…

Holy Mackerel! The church is 3/4 Full !!! Did they hear that some funny things might happen this AM in Church? Gulp… sweating just a little more now I seated myself gracefully on the apparent Minister’s bench behind the larger pulpit.

Too cool! The Elder rose to do his announcements and lead the first part of the service. Then he had everyone stand as the Holy Bible was carried in and placed in its special place of prominence.

The Service was rolling… look at the bulletin… they have given you the hints… follow them… be cool… what can go wrong… this should be easy… stand up slowly… knees stop knocking… now say, “Good morning it is good to be here with you this morning”…. Easy now… this is their first time to hear your voice… they are adjusting to your accent… now… begin… “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” I said…

Whoa! They all came back heartily… “AND ALSO WITH YOU!” and they meant it!

Pentecostal won’t do this… they are still talking to each other at that point!

If you played the “William Tell Overture” at that point you would have heard what I was hearing inside my chest – it was my heart beating to the Lone Ranger Movie theme!

The hour flew by… I loved it. The people were responsive. They are amazing in their singing and worship.

I felt at home in this service in every way. I must have been Presbyterian in my former lifetime… I fit here! And I love it…

Now I know that my writing may appear to be too light hearted today… maybe even foolish to some… but that is what happened. It was wonderful… and these people are just great!

I did forget one thing. There was a funny thing lying on the pulpit. It looked like an IPod of some sort… with a chord on it. I moved it aside when I began to speak.

The kind lady at the end of the service came to shake my hand… as she held that funny thing in her hand. “Did any one tell you about my husband’s hearing device… the minister puts this around his neck so it picks up his voice…?”

“Oh no! I am so sorry. I didn’t know what it was for” I responded.

Her husband was standing with her… and shook my hand. “There is no problem. Today he said he heard everything well.” And then she smiled.

With The Reverend Murray Lincoln, OOO, MOOO, and PhDOOO having his own built in amplifier… he didn’t need his hearing piece.

Spurtles? What is a Spurtle?
After church was over we walked around downtown Port Perry. I happened into the Wee Tartan Shop. I discussed the possibilities of them needing some of my wood carvings like the Celtic Love Spoons.

The kind lady was excited and asked me if I made “Spurtles”. Then she explained that it is what Scots stir their porridge with in the morning.

In Saskatchewan we called them a “Fish Bonker” – but if you want to make porridge with is – no problem.

Yep – I can make a Spurtle. Anything is possible after the morning service that I just attended… absolutely ANYTHING!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Sunday, April 25, 2010

In the stillness of an Afternoon

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Today’s Blog Post

In the stillness of an Afternoon
The magic of the moment was spell binding. As we walked hand in hand we heard the first strains of the pan pipes drifting our way. It was amazing.

How do you possibly capture this moment? How could you bottle this opportunity for others to hear and sense.

Suddenly as my wife and I were walking toward the source of the sound we were whisked away to another place in time. Our feet were crunching on the grey gravel of a magical path in Guangzhou, China… no longer in Peterborough, Ontario but rather all the way around the world. As we had walked by the still pools of water with the large Gold Fish swam quietly below the lush green foliage over hanging their liar.

The moment had transported us to the small pagoda that sat in the centre of the garden with its round doors and still presence. All around the pagoda were the lush vegetations of almost every plant that was ever created.

We sat on the large, carved rosewood chairs near the marble topped table and listened. Not far away was the call of small bird that was clear and crisp. Answering that small call came another chirp from the other side of the pagoda… then a different one. Then all was absolutely still… until the soft strains of the pan pipe came across to the pagoda. It had woven its way through the bushes and the hanging tree branches softy and tenderly, spilling over the water to our ears.

The stillness, the lush vegetation, the sound of the small birds that seemed to be everywhere, all bowed to the sound of the pan pipe.

Leaning a little to the right and looking through the window, past the large ferns hanging there, I caught the image of a person sitting near a quiet pool. It was an older man with his wooden pan pipe held to his lips. The only motion was his hands as he moved the pipes left and right finding another place to blow. The strains of the pipes filled the air.

As we listened to the man playing, a beautiful young lady dressed in her silk embroidered tunic brought us the brown, clay pot of hot tea and the small cups that matched. I can smell the tea now as I write… how sweet and fragrant it was…

The taste of the tea, the stillness of our surroundings, the sound of the pipes being played… mixed with the sites of the garden… was overpowering… and so wonderful… I savour it again this early morning.

From the third paragraph until now… of this article… it was 26 years ago when my wife and I sat in that pagoda together and filled ourselves with the moment.

WOW – what a feeling….

The first two paragraphs happened yesterday… right in the middle of the muddle of a Saturday in Peterborough. That happening is what triggered the memories of 26 years ago in that beautiful Tea Garden in China.

Alida and I had to adapt a planned outing for “39 The Second Time” that was to happen yesterday morning. Because of death many of the folk were helping at the funeral lunch afterwards. What was going to be a picnic for the 39 TST was converted into a smaller hike in Jackson Creek Park. Our plan was to walk to the “Cedar Cathedral” as I have named it… then sit and enjoy the reverie.

For non Peterborough folk, Jackson Creek Park is a place that has been set aside for all in our community to enjoy. From the small park there is easy access to the walking path that winds its way toward the next town, Omemee. The flat path is the old railroad bed that has been worked on to provide a beautiful escape from our busy city and life.

Even parking in the small lot lets you step away from the Saturday rush up above. From the car park to the reflection pool you begin to drop everything of the baggage of the previous weeks and days off. When you step on to the covered bridge the world behind lets go and you leave behind the other stuff that has kept you from this world.

As we stepped off the bridge on to the grey gravelled road, our feet made the stones crunch… the bird to our left were calling the ones across the reflection pool. The air was absolutely still… Then a duck quacked on the water. It was at that moment that the sounds of the Pan Pipes drifted our way across the reflection pool. I leaned a little to the right and caught a view of a man sitting on the bench beside the still water… he had the Pan Pipe up to his mouth and from it came the most amazing music.

As we walked by the man and listened, Alida squeezed my hand and said, “This is just like China… remember that time in the Tea Garden… wow…”

We walked on listening. The sound followed us… skipping in and out of the trees with their budding leaves.

To our left the small creek bounced over the stones and from our back the Pan Pipes played with the quite spaces.

We were quiet beside each other as we held hands… the Pipes… the creek’s babbling… the soft sound of the stones below our feet… then the birds again… calling over and over again.

It was pure magic… stillness that we had not experienced since last fall’s walk in this place. The creativity in me was flooding back to full again… oh how I needed that moment.

Within about five minutes we arrived at our Cedar Cathedral. Nope – it is not a church like some may be thinking… it is just a special stand of very, very high Cedar Trees that must be at least 60 feet high… as big as the trees in our front yard at home.

Stepping off the main path it is sombre… a new quiet… a stillness and there is no sound under your feet. The softness of the years of dried Cedar scales cushion your feet. A mere 100 feet is the babbling brook again… laughing now as it trips and skips around the stones, under the logs, between the little islands…

This is the Choir singing… continually… unsupervised or conducted. It is loud and it is soft… in perfect balance at the same time. The harmony is amazing – not just in the sound but also in the whole of the scene that is surrounding you. Each Cedar tree stands solid… the water babbles and sings… then there is the absolute stillness pressing in around us.

As we sat on the large stone together we listened… The Pan Piper was not there any more… just the amazing song birds singing their solos in the Cathedral.

It was at that moment that I realized a new thought… this place has been here since the start of time. No one has ever built on this spot… it is completely a virgin track of soil…

Certainly if you listen with a good imagination you can hear the old Steam Locomotive that puffed through here many, many years ago… but that is gone too…only memories fill this place.

There has been other people in this place though. “Late Nighters” likely… a camp fire lays still with some rascals leaving behind a broken bottle… but when they left silence stooped to clean it up…

We sat for a long while… and talked quietly. At the edge of the brook three ducks worked the weeded areas, shovelling for food below the surface.

We made plans to come again and bring 39 TST… who… for individual reasons… they couldn’t make it this time.

As we started back to the main trail heading home again… the sound of the creek came and went… kids played in it… and people with dogs walked by us.

But… there it was again.. the sound of the Pan Pipes. The old man sat on the same bench playing. At the moment we walked over to meet him… he was speaking with a young lady.

I asked him of his Pipes… “Where did they come from?”

“This one is quite old… it is my Romanian Pan Pipe… and this one is a few years newer – it is from Germany.” His hand held them tenderly… and his fingers ran over the surface lightly. He explained that their curved shape was designed this way so that you did need so much movement to get to the next note.

I was spell bound by his explanation.

I shared with him about the Cedar Cathedral and how good the sound might be in there. He had not heard of it yet… nor been there.

As we walked away… the Pan Pipes came alive again… with the sound spilling across the reflection pool again…

“Amazing Grace how sweet the sound…” was clear and sweet throughout the park……… Never have I head it played better…

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Saturday, April 24, 2010

“How Old Would You Be If You Didn't Know How Old You Are?”

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Today’s Blog Post

“How Old Would You Be If You Didn't Know How Old You Are?”
I just finished reading the story of Satchel Paige. Amazing! Simply Amazing. You can got to a Link below and read some it as well….

Satchel is credited with the Title of this Blog today…“How Old Would You Be If You Didn't Know How Old You Are?”

What an inspiring story it is!

He gave a list of "Rules for Staying Young"
Paige's rules originally appeared in the June 13, 1953 issue of Collier's. The version below is taken from his autobiography Maybe I'll Pitch Forever (as told to David Lipman, 1962):

1. "Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood."
2. "If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts."
3. "Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move."
4. "Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society—the social ramble ain't restful."
5. "Avoid running at all times."
6. "And don't look back—something might be gaining on you."

This is all from a man that came from No Where to become a legend in his time.

I offer it quickly today and point to this remarkable man.

By the way……“How Old Would You Be If You Didn't Know How Old You Are?”

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Friday, April 23, 2010

Health and Physical Education Curriculum for Grades 1-8… YIKES

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Today’s Blog Post

Health and Physical Education Curriculum for Grades 1-8… YIKES
Dare I stand up and oppose the Catholic Church? Or worse yet, stand to object to the stance taken by the Religious Right – which the Press generally throws all Evangelicals into? Would you dare to state an opinion that differs from the strong stance that some are taking against the Government?

Dare I as a member of a Church that is within the extreme labelling, say something that they, the Church, would object to?

I am caught in a precarious spot as I suspect a number of Christians are. More often than not when any objections are raised or discussion ensued from the “church people” they risk the dangerous place of being relegated to “religious whackos” by the Press or the opposition in the community. The very term Religious Right has a connotation about it that results in a sting… a contempt from someone on the other side.

Now as a one time church leader, who still has some small say in what happens, I am doubtful that I can make strong statements without raising someone’s ire. As a Pastor of a Church at one time I knew that any radical stance that I might take would immediately be addressed by folk within the huddle – if they felt that it might obscure the message or image of the local church. Simply put, a local minister would do well to consider any “political” statements that could be conscribed as being anti anything.

My “Ministering neighbours” to the south of the Canadian Border are subject to far more scrutiny by outside authorities than Canadians. Within Canada it is our own folk that scrutinize what we say or do… or don’t say or do.

From within the church, try to stand up or against the Anti Abortion Folk(whatever their names appear locally). It is not a nice place to stand. There will be severe opposition to what you try to do against them.

The same is true with the newest regulations that have just hit our local press in Ontario.

If you haven’t read something about this the Links are provided below.

The Ontario Government has just flip flopped on a solid Government decision to incorporate Health and Physical Education Curriculum for Grades 1-8 at a much earlier stage within our school system. Beginning at a very early age, compared to times before, teachers would be taking into their classrooms the privilege and responsibility to teach kids their body parts, how to use them and the variety of ways that one should try to use them. They would be assuming parental responsibilities, normally reserved or assumed by the biological parents of the kids.

Mind you most teachers in our schools have a far greater input and more time with our kids than we as parents do and are more like parents than some of us are. What they say to our kids is powerful and we know it…maybe even more powerful than what we say in that we don’t have any time to spend with our kids and teach them what we want them to know… but object if anyone else does.

The Ontario Government has backed away from introducing the new curriculum this September 2010 to our school system. Apparently the opposition to what they were planning has been so strong from certain areas that even our brave Premier Dalton McGunity has said, “No way – I am out of here on this one!” Yesterday he announced that the Government will not introduce this in September, but will give it some more thought as to how and when it might come back.

In October there is a big election that possibly will change our political landscape all across Ontario. There are enough things that have made people angry in recent times to cause concern. Another big one that might sink a Government is plain nuts.

I need to consider some really important things as this issue has risen.

The first one is do I agree with the Religious Right and belong to what they say or do? Do they speak for me? Will I allow them to include me in their huddle?

At this stage I am not that sure to allow myself to be swept into the pack.

The second one is, have I thought through the arguments that are being presented by both sides? Do I really know what is being said? Is the information that is presented true or good from where I stand and what I know? Can I support either side? Why should I?

I am caught in the middle.

My commitment all along has been to pray for the Leadership that is in our Government. Now with the latest news flashing everywhere the Ridiculous Religious Right is in opposition to whatever the Government does – and I am labelled in that group.

The problem that I am having is that so many people do not come to church and are not any where near a church background. The folk that are objecting have nothing to do with the Ridiculous Religious Right or the Catholics. Yet they are lumped into the groups that object. The ridiculous other side has made it look that way.

There are many families that do not want their children being taught the personal things in their lives by a teacher that has no idea of what the family stands for. The morality issues require far more input than a teacher will have… and should have the parents complete input.

Certainly there are children from Family Based Homes in the class but they are not the only ones. There are dozens of families that have their children in the same class and that do not have any input into their children’s life at all.

The Government’s policy and the Education Policy that has been suggested, adopted and then backed away from is flawed in one major area in my mind. They assume that children all will be at the same stage each year. They assume by treating each kid equally that it will be taken care of that way. That isn’t what happens in the normal family. Each child is different – there are just too many factors to consider.

So I am against the Policy that was suggested by the Government and the Education policy People.

I am also against the Ridiculous Religious Right or anyone that lumps me into that group.

I am in between. I am trying to make sense of what is being said by everyone. Trying to make sense out of the community of highly sexually oriented people, that are super charged by media of all kinds, that are preying on my grandkids and their own sexuality; leaving me wonder why.

Take a look at an average evening of TV viewing and count the number of times something about sex or sexual things take place. Now add to that the entire day’s viewing. You will be stunned to see what is coming their way.

Go back 60 years ago and that wasn’t happening. Go back another 100 years and there was no affect or outside influence.

Yet Children back then were sexual beings as well… and arrived at a point of knowledge about these things without a lot of help. Sex was pretty natural – and has been for a long, long time. God created sex for me and you to enjoy and be apart of. It was His plan.

There was a corruption no doubt when fathers and mothers forgot what they should be doing. There were failures for sure. But the one thing that didn’t happen was – the Government never got involved. Ever!!!

So today as a result of the back off by our Premier, the confusion that the Education People are feeling, the short and small victory the Religious Right is claiming… I wonder who will help my grandkids understand their own awakening to the sexual things in their life?

I will continue to pray for my Government and all the 107 MPPs. I support them. I work with them. And I will share my ideas and feelings and reactions with them in a balanced way.

Not sure how to deal with the Ridiculous Religious Right? Maybe just stay away would be a good idea.


~ Murray Lincoln ~


Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Tooth Fairy killed the Easter Bunny!

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Today’s Blog Post
The Tooth Fairy killed the Easter Bunny!
Thomas is a special guy in our family. He is our third Grandchild, and our youngest daughter’s second son.

He is a kind boy. He is relatively quiet compared to his three siblings – at least he shows grandpa that side. And he is great at computer games. This guy can memorize things and know things that others don’t see. If all continues the way it seems to be going he will be the gentle giant of the Clan.

This short account will tell you more about him than anything else.

At Easter the family arrived at the home of a single, never married, University Prof. They had been specially invited to celebrate with her and others. I can’t explain the connection as it is a little too complicated and if I did it would expose more than I wish to at this time. Besides – the focus must be on Thomas for this to make sense.

The Prof is a deeply religious person that wishes to display her love for God and the Bible. She has rejected many things of the “world” and of “silliness”. He studies and commitment to her job is her life partner. Working with young adults as a Prof may well be her only primary connection to anyone in the youthful world.

She is a good lady.

Now remember this is Easter. Easter is that wonderful time that Christians celebrate something of Jesus. Deeply dedicated people also know much about God.

It is at this point that the life of Thomas, at 13 years old, is about to encounter this deeply committed, deeply dedicated University Prof and her love of Easter in her own way… and her deep need to teach all people – everywhere….

Thomas doesn’t know about deeply committed, deeply dedicated University Profs… nor what they would like to teach him. She in turn has no idea what Thomas is interested in either – nor likely gives hoot about them! Their worlds are about a Gazillion Miles from each other.

Thomas could teach her a thing or two about Hockey. He could teach her how to whiz backwards on his skates as a great Defenseman, moving side to side to ward the on coming attack.

He could teach her many things about the Army Men that are hiding just around the corner behind that that clump of bushes up ahead… and that she would need to know if she could ever get to the 14th level of the game.

But it is highly doubtful that the Prof knows anything about Hockey or Army Men! She likely would not know how to turn on the machine and she would know that the Hockey Arena stinks like sweaty boys. And my uneducated guess is that BOYS should smell better – but they don’t at times… and their Hockey Bags are another story.

That is the setting for what is about to happen in the Prof’s Easter presentation for her guests – and her Easter Egg Hunt! Yep! She has really gone way out there. She has bent the rules and allowed Easter Eggs to become a part of her life. For one short and tiny moment she has let go of logic and reason… or adult life and definitely of all things Christian like… and jumped to the silly idea of Easter Eggs, with a child’s greed for more chocolate etc.

Oh wow! She is reaching out… kinda… possibly… maybe.

Her words were, “Now I have hidden Plastic Easter Eggs all over my home. Inside each Easter Egg is a scripture verse. When you collect as many Easter Eggs as you can, you will open them up, take out the scripture verse and then put them in order. The one that can do that will win a chocolate Easter Egg.”

In front of her are my four grandsons aged 14 to 8 years old. There is also her nephew that is 8 as well.

Can you see the kind of stunned look come over my grandson’s faces as they realized the joy of what they were asked to do? Easter Eggs are cool… Chocolate ones are GREAT… but plastic ones with words inside don’t equate… having then have to put them together to make sense – in order to win a Chocolate Easter Egg… will eave even you with a stunned look on your face.

DUMB? Clueless? Out of touch comes to my mind…

My daughter stood at the sidelines watching this glorious event unfolding and her comment to herself, “Oh great, my kids are definitely going to fail this exam!”

She knows what her sons know and don’t know. She also knows what they like and well… not that they dislike God and Jesus and the Bible… they just don’t focus a whole lot of time on unwrapping Plastic Easter Eggs and stringing the Bible Verses together. Duh! Failure for sure!!!

It was at that moment that Thomas saved the day with what he said…

Now picture it… savour it slowly as I am… listen closely…

The Prof’s instruction have just been laid out clearly… and she is about to ask, “Are there any questions…?” You know – just like all Profs do…

Thomas stated the reality to put things into a proper focus for his brothers… and they got the message clearly…

Thomas gave sigh and loudly said, “Yah! Yah! We know… The Tooth Fairy killed the Easter Bunny!”

This guy is my genius! He thinks like I do! He can grasp the ridiculous in a fleeting moment and with a few words dissect the intent of the previous speaker. He can leave a thought behind with very few words that even a Prof from University can understand.

Priceless! Stupid Plastic filled Easter Eggs with dumb words on it – don’t make any sense to a Hockey Player, Computer Gamer and a boy that loves Chocolate. And he told her so with a very few words – stating the obvious… “We are not as stupid as you think we are. Duh! Let’s move on and eat!”

Now to top it off… the 8 year old nephew of the Prof had been in the home for an hour before my grandsons arrived and had scoped out. He knew where all the Eggs were and immediately grabbed everything of himself.

I couldn’t help wondering what the poor, deeply committed, loving Jesus, University Prof thought at that moment or later that night. I wonder how she handled the reality that it was kind of dumb idea? She spent oodles of time to select the Bible Verses, type them out… cut them up, buy the Plastic come apart Easter Eggs, insert the Scripture verses inside, then chose the hiding places all over her home…

I don’t think that these two families will get together again real soon. Definitely it won’t be Easter and the Easter Bunny and Easter Eggs next time – if there ever is a next time.

Thomas you are My Man! Thank you for protecting your brother’s honour! You are the Hero of Easter 2010.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The $16,075,168.75 Master Card Mistake – Wahoo!

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Today’s Blog Post

The $16,075,168.75 Master Card Mistake – Wahoo!

My 89 year old Mother came to my little office yesterday and stated that she had received her Master Card Statement but it didn’t make sense. “Can you look at it for me?” she asked.

No problem. I help my mother with some of her financial matters over these past five years or so. At times some of the things that are sent to her don’t make a lot of sense. I know… it is happening to me as well. Banking Technology is changing almost every month with the addition of the new Chip Cards and heightened levels of security – etc. you have to interpret what is coming along.

Sometimes it is hard for even the younger folk that deal with it every day.

Now some background for you to help understand what I am about to discover.

My Mom is very careful with her spending. She uses her Master Card sparingly making small purchases when necessary. And each month she knows that if she keeps her Credit Card paid down to zero there will be no interest. So within days of receiving her Master Card Statement in the mail she will go to the Mall and the Bank of Montreal to pay her bill. She is very faithful in doing her part.

Her monthly bill is manageable on her income. It allows her a little wiggle room and ‘mad money’ to do as she sees fit. Birthday Presents, stuff for grandkids and the like are the only major items on her Card each month.

As I opened her Credit Card Statement I nearly died… I actually chocked a little when I gulped. My Mom went WAY OVER BOARD THIS MONTH! Holy Mackerel she charged a Bundle somewhere! This is NUTS! Maybe someone stole her identity???!

There was the Figure of $16,075,168.75 on the right side and it had a “CR” behind it! “CR” means CREDIT… that is for the good right? I think it is… (below is the copy)
Purchases were relatively small… and she was only required to pay $10 this month.

Now I have heard of some folk that “Load Their Cards” with extra payments before heading out on a Trip. That way they have extra in their Credit just in case they run out of money along the way. It acts as a safety.

But a Figure of $16,075,168.75 is a little over the wall.

To the left side of the Statement is the description of what she purchased and the transactions that have taken place over the last billing period.

That is when I realized that for one brief, fleeting moment my Mom was a Millionaire many times over.

The First major entry shows as “PAYMENT RECEIVED THANK YOU” and shows that she sent in $6,075,168.76. Immediately after that following another grateful THANK YOU – she paid $9,999,999.99 and was credited for the same amount – totalling $16,075,168.75 !!!!
BUT the down fall came when the Teller knew that my Mom could not possibly handle that amount of money and then took it out as a “PAYMENT REVERSAL”

The Master Card Statement does not show how long my Mom was a Multi Millionaire. It may have been moments or hours… but it did happen and she has the evidence.

Now every one knows, that if an automobile is assembled on a Monday that there may well be more imperfections and many more breakdowns in the future. Automobile Assembly Plants are notorious for that happening.

But the date shown was a Thursday – not Monday.

But wait… there is the final bit of information that is very valuable in trying to understand… it was April 1 that it took place. April Fools Day! Go figure! The Teller was messing with my Mom’s mind… and knew that she would nearly drop dead when she opened her Master Card Statement next month. Ha Ha Ha! Too funny!

Wait a minute… wait a cotton pickin’ minute! Some one has played a horrible joke on an 89 year old lady that can hardly see over the counter top at the bank.

NOW WAIT the second cotton pickin’ minute… we have American Roots also and like any good American Rooted person – we should be able to bring a substantial LAW SUIT against this Bank and the staff for playing such horrible joke on an innocent Old Lady!

Mom and I talked about it and thought that maybe if we walked into the Bank with me pushing her in a wheel chair next time… they would see what their little joke did to my Poor Old Mom!!!

Then we both started to laugh so hard that we cried. Mom then said… “Let’s do it!” and we laughed some more.

Mom was born to a rather poor family in Southern Saskatchewan and then lived through the dirty thirties. She has always known that she must be careful with her money.

But now we know… for one fleeting moment, through the kindness of a local teller – or a corporate one somewhere – she was a Multi Millionaire… and she laughed and laughed and laughed.

This next few days Mom and I will head to the same Bank of Montreal to pay last month’s Statement. We will be thanking one of the beautiful young gals behind the counter. And for the fun of it we will also drop off a copy of this Blog Posting to the Manager.

Thanks Master Card folk and Bank of Montreal Folk – you have made one little lady happy!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Déjà vu – First Car – First Kiss

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Today’s Blog Post

Déjà vu – First Car – First Kiss

I am stumbling to find the words that will make sense this morning. How can I describe the scenes in my mind that have been bubbling there for a few days now? They are popping up in rapid sequence – oh boy.

It is all because of my grandson Clifford that this is happening I am sure. Most of this stuff was hidden and I think almost forgotten. But now with his coming of age this past weekend with his 15th Birthday, and me moving past the age with my 66th – here it is again… bubbling up! Hokey Mokey!

Flash Back
It is April 1960 and I have just turned 16 years old. This was to be the magic year – all guys knew that. It was the year to achieve my driver’s license. I was going to be allowed the privilege to drive the family car sometimes. That was the most I could hope for I was sure.

Up to that point I had been doing kid stuff… and playing kid’s games in the community. But everyone knew when you hit the 16th marker you would put away the kid stuff and become like the rest of the older teens that were all driving and hanging out with their friends at the drive-inn restaurants. These older guys all had hotrod cars of some sort or other. If they didn’t have their own they had their dad’s car which was not too cool but they got to the A&W anyway.

Along with the cars came another kind of awkward to think about item… at 15 at least… and that was the girls that hung around these guys with cars. Their shiny hotrods were like chick magnets that brought in some very different girls from the Grade 7,8 and 9 girls that I had known up to that time. This new bunch that hung around the Hotrod Crowd were better smelling and wore make up. They just looked better some how.

But at 15 and then moving into the magic 16th Birthday – the girls didn’t seem near as important as the idea of actually driving and having that magic, powerful piece of paper that said I was a MAN… my driver’s license.

It wasn’t many days after the 16th Birthday that I wrote/drove my driver’s license and passed.

Two major things were about to happen that would change my life forever… these are part of my bubbling scenes in my mind today… oh boy… the “Manhood Passage”!

I had an extremely FAT AUNT. She was also short… and being almost as wide as she was tall – she looked FAT. Her name was Wilma. I am breaking out in a cold sweat just typing this… sheesh!

Wilma and my uncle Ralph had a daughter by the name of Kathy. Kathy was older than me and was something like the girls that were with the guys with Hotrod Cars. She was different from my younger sisters and her sister. Just different for some reason…. Couldn’t figure out why… just… different.

I had just turned 16 and these relatives had shown up from BC for some reason. Some one mentioned that I had just had my 16th Birthday.

Wilma was loud. And Wilma gave a whoop and looked at me… asking loudly… “So have you ever been kissed?” I was 16 but still very shy and bashful to say the least. Kissing was not something that I EVER HAD CONSIDERED AS PART OF MY LIFE! YUCK! HOW STUPID CAN THIS LOUD WOMAN BE?!?!?

My blushing and head down stance called for another whoop from loud, Fat Wilma. Her daughter Kathy beamed from ear to ear as she joined her mother in a feigned taunt… “Sweet sixteen and never been kissed… Sweet sixteen and never been kissed… Sweet sixteen and never been kissed…!”

By this time I was blushing big time and my sister had joined the taunt.

The strong arms of my little Fat Aunt grabbed me and she tried to kiss me.

Good God in Heaven… what… is this woman nuts…? where is my mother and father? I fought for all I was worth and now everyone was laughing! This was to be a death throw… a final moment on my being on earth… but there was NO DARN WAY THAT THIS FAT AUNT WAS GOING TO KISS ME!

I fought hard… and warded this Fat Demon off. But being a “Woman Wrestler” that I was sure she was… she did her next big move… she reached down and slipped her powerful Fat Arm between my legs and scooped me up like I was a piece of drift wood… I crouched slightly to protect my private parts and then her other arm slipped easily between my neck and shoulder… swish I was air born and laying across her shoulders of the Fat Demon… and SHE WHOOPED spinning me in circles like a trophy all the time chanting “Sweet sixteen and never been kissed…”

If you haven’t figured it out by now – as I was held tightly across Fat Wilma’s shoulders and being spun in circles there was nothing I could do. I was defeated. And I guess I must have stopped fighting…

That was the moment that Fat Wilma realized that I was broken like a calf being branded… and she whopped again… “Okay Kathy KISS HIM!” and everyone in the room whooped for her to do it!

Kathy moved into my face quickly and puckered up her soft lips… I was bugged eyed. Smack! She got me…on the cheek and Then Smack again on the mouth!!!!

Wilma lowered me to the floor and let me go. Kathy grinned… and I blushed. Defeated! I was not sure what had happened to me. I tasted Kathy’s lip stuff on my lips and felt her lips still hot on my cheek.

It was a very confusing moment… I wanted FAT Wilma to do it again… and Kathy to kiss me again.

I am blushing now… sheesh… that is one powerful 50 year old, bubbling scene in my head.

It was sometime after Fat Wilma and Kathy did there thing… that my Dad asked me to come with him for a drive. He explained that now that I was 16 years old he thought that I should get a car. I couldn’t believe my ears. I was about to get a CAR!

Dad had already been looking for something that might be good to drive.

At that stage our family car was a 1951 Pontiac that I had taken my driver’s license test in. It was pretty fancy and I doubted that Dad could get one this new. It was now 1960.

He talked to me on the way from the city to southern Saskatchewan and the farming area that my mom came from. Dad said that he had been thinking that it might be fun for me to get an older car to fix up. He had told me stories about his first car that was a Ford… a “Model T” that he had virtually built himself. It was not likely possible to get one that I could build like his… but we would see. He knew a farmer that had an older car that we could look at and maybe we could get it.

We pulled into Ed James’ farm yard and the dog was barking.

Ed met us. Dad had talked with him in the weeks before. He knew we had come to look at the old car.

We rounded the barn and there it was… a completely rusted, no roof as it was rotted out, and up on bocks with no wheels, 1925 Model T Ford. The floor was filled with bird manure.

Dad looked it over and talked to Ed. It was all there. It had run well until about 1950 when Ed had put it on blocks and left it to die a quiet prairie death.

Dad looked at me and asked, “Well, would you like to buy it?” I shook my head quickly in the affirmative.

Dad said, “Go ahead and make your own deal.” nodding towards Ed.

I stumbled a little and asked Ed how much he wanted.

Ed said in the slow farmer way, “Well I don’t want to charge you too much… how does $10 sound?”

I beamed and replied, “YES!” The deal was done.

The tires were in the tool shed hanging up. They needed air. We filled them up. Bolted them in place and with a tow rope pulled it out of the spot beside the barn.

I was sitting on the old pail steering it back to Regina as my dad towed me and my new car with his 1951 Pontiac. No boy was more happy that I was… sorry… No MAN was happier than I was at that moment. Dust flew, chicken and bird manure flew out the open top and the old car flapped and rocked and rolled down the highway one more time. I think the car had a smile on its face. REALLY! I sure did!

Talk about FLASH BACKS.

Last week my grandson Clifford not only had his birthday but he also received a call from his other grandfather. His grandfather’s mother had passed away. This grandfather’s name is Doug.

Doug asked Clifford if he wanted to buy a car. Clifford asked how much. Doug replied, “One dollar…” And Clifford bought his first car when he was fifteen.

And yes… it is a FORD too… a Tempo which is in relative terms about as old as my old 1925 Model T. BUT He got his for a dollar.

Now the question is… when will he get his first KISS? This tall handsome, athletic grandson of mine just thinks all girls are kind of stupid… at least that is what I think he wants me to think…

Clifford doesn’t have a FAT Aunt Wilma… and I doubt very much anyone will be able to pick him up on their shoulders… as to a cousin Kathy.. Clifford is the oldest and the others are little girls… like his sister….


~ Murray Lincoln ~

Monday, April 19, 2010

I am happy to introduce to you, Mr. and Mrs. Jim and Jeanette Kidd

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Today’s Blog Post

I am happy to introduce to you, Mr. and Mrs. Jim and Jeanette Kidd

The joy that flooded the room was amazing. The laughter, the smiles and the pure joy was more than any church service has had that I have attended.

What am I talking about?

Last Saturday was the Wedding for Jim Kidd and Jeanette Wells… now Mr. and Mrs. Jim and Jeanette Kidd. They were “engaged” for over 31 years. WOW!

In actual fact they had been living common law for all that time – perfectly happy with each other…but then a whole lot started happening and they decided that marriage is what they always wanted.

The common law arrangement, though recognized by the Government of Canada, is NOT RECOGNIZED by certain religious persons. In fact some of these folks can be downright miserable with their responses. I have watched the super religious people condemn others for years.

That is why Jeanette and Jim had not attended church for 24 years. They were not ashamed of what they were, they were just avoiding making these righteous into more angry people. In fact as I spoke with J and J they were open about how they felt… but never once condemning anyone. The other side however did their stuff and acted in their super spiritual ways… turning people off completely in the name of “their holiness”.

I have to bite my tongue at times when I hear this kind of “super crap” in the name of God. Thank goodness most of this kind of thing is trapped in the Vatican and only gets out once in a blue moon… yet we still see it in small pockets here and there.

In spite of this J and J were happy.

On a fateful day in 2003, September 13, met this special couple at the bed side of Jeanette’s son. The hospital had called me to come and administer a prayer and spiritual help to this needy family. I stood beside Christopher Well’s bed and prayed for him. But at that moment he was only a few hours away from meeting his maker.

Christopher was tall, strong and very sharp. He had some problems yes… and he had made some choices that had put his health at risk from what I gathered. And at this moment his body could no longer fight off ravishes of the sickness that had invaded it.

Jeanette stood beside me… along with the others that day… each was crying as they let Christopher go into the loving arms of his Maker.

At a moment like this I have no idea who is who in the hospital room. I do not know if they have been good church attendees and supported their local church, kept all the religious rules and rights, and more importantly did THEIR RELIGION MY WAY….!!!!

All that mattered at that moment was that someone offer them love and understanding in this very dark time.

I prayed and we all cried with tears running down our cheeks. YES – I SAID “WE”. I cried with them because I care.

A few days later after Christopher had slipped away I received another call. It was someone calling on behalf of the family to ask if I would conduct Christopher’s Memorial Service. I was deeply humbled by that simple request and honoured that they would consider me for such an honour.

WOW! What a service it was to be!

In the audience was about 80+ people from what I remember, divided into two sections, left and right as I looked at them.

On my right was the family filling the small chapel back to about half way. Behind that was almost the entire staff from Wal-Mart where Jeanette and Jim work.

On my left was a solid block of unlovely people, all street people that I recognized from Peterborough. These were all the people that Christopher has “ministered” to.

As one of these folks came forward to share a few words she described how much Christopher loved everyone around him, how he had helped so many other folks on the street, how he had read the Bible to them and encouraged them when they were down… and how he had lived a Godly life in front of them.

Did you catch that? Christopher had lived on the Street... he was one of those dirty(at times) Street People that really bug “Good Christian People” (GCP)… that they frown on without hesitation. Contempt is their favourite evil to dole out.

You can see I have a problem with “Good Christian People” at times – specially when they wrap up in their sanctimonious garments and do the “Pope Thingie” – “hey you outta on my lawna… getta offa my lawna… you not as good as me…” (you must make the sign of the cross when you say the words…) but of course it is “in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!”

We buried Christopher and cried.

The audience was filled with Pentecostals of all sorts – which I had no idea were in Christopher’s family until we had some Funeral Food afterward. There were on fire Pentecostals, turned off Pentecostals and ho hum Pentecostals. Christopher had loved them all… and they came for him from across Canada.

Most were blown away when they found out that I was asked to do this service and was also Pentecostal!!!! How did Jeanette get in touch with you? Were you Jim’s minister? How? Why? When?

Time went by and Jeanette’s brothers came into my life. He was broken and bruised. Life since he ran away from the church had been HELL. He was once Pentecostal too and had stood beside the bed on September 13th 2003 when I prayed for Christopher… and his life fell apart since that time. His name was Daryl.

Daryl came to church alone. He met some people and it wasn’t long before “Good Christian People” asked about him. When they found out about him and how he lived… they did their thing again. Standoffish was their best they could offer… because he lived in SIN.

Whatever!!!… get a life you GCP!!!

Daryl brought his sister Jeanette because he had found someone that would love him no matter what… and “Jeanette, you won’t believe this… he is the Minister that was at the Hospital and that buried Christopher!”

Jeanette came to church and we all loved her. Later Jim started to come too. He loved the music and the church and the people and well just everything. He has talked to his own mother about what he has found in church and what has happened to him. They listened closely…

Well there is far more to tell… but the end of the Story is the Best!

Last Saturday I stood before them with their families and asked God to bless them. In fact “Blessing” is what I talked all about. Jim was a Blessing to Jeanette when he came into her life. She had four little kids and was lone, as a turned off Pentecostal, far away from “Good Christian People” that had condemned her.

Her fist husband, with whatever church background. was a drunk and lust filled man that ran around on her all the time… leaving the children and his wife for another.

On Jeanette’s first honeymoon he took off at the Reception with some not so nice wedding people to get more drunk. He disappeared until Monday of their Honeymoon.

Jeanette was afraid of marriage, church, and people that act that way… she stayed away along time.

You have to know that part of the story to understand what the Word “Blessing” means to Jim and Jeanette.

That is why there was such a powerful sense of God’s Presence there. (On the side – the GCP never showed up thankfully).

I want you to go back and look at the Photo at the top… that is Jeanette and Jim with all her kids and grandkids after the wedding. They are one happy bunch to say the least.

Take a look at the photo again… the two granddaughters had brought the Photo of Uncle Christopher and sat it with them on the front pew. They wanted him there for Nana.

In all my years I have never been so deeply moved by one family and one experience that has touched my heart so much. This is Christianity at its best. It is not the kind that is on or in a “Vatican Attitude of ingratitude”. This kind is real.

And some day if you want to meet what some real Christians… I would like you to meet Jim and Jeanette Kidd. They are amazing – simply amazing!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Drug Wars of Ontario – April 2010

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The Drug Wars of Ontario – April 2010

I am trying desperately to understand the cacophony going on in our province’s Drug Wars. And as you read this in your province you may not have heard of what we are now facing in Ontario. I hadn’t heard about it until late last week and then didn’t understand what the dickens was going on either… until reading a bit more(but I may not understand yet either).

No this is not about Heroin or Crack – it is about the kind of drugs that most other people have to take… or want to take… or are forced to take. Stuff like headache pills, cholesterol reducing pills and sleep inducing pills that a pharmacist fills for you. It is not about the over the counter drugs but rather about the behind the counter dispensed drugs.

There are two categories of pills in our province – the cheaper ones, the Generic, and the more expensive ones, the Brand Names.

From what I have gleaned so far our present Minister of Health, Deb Matthews, has brought down a piece of legislation that is making the Generic drug pricing fall from 50% of the Brand Name drug price to 25%. Kaboom! The Prices will fall very soon.

The Government already has in place a tighter control of the use of which kind of Drug that is dispensed. Under the ODP(Trillium) they have directions given to the Doctor that he or she must try the Generic first to see if it produces the needed response… then if it does not… the expensive stuff can be prescribed.

But now they are ordering that the cheaper stuff will need to be cheaper still by 50% of the price that it was at last week – or 25% of the Brand Name price.

I think I have that right.

When I went to the Shoppers Drug Store this past week I noticed a fairly ritzy coloured card laying on the pharmacist’s counter. It was encouraging me to take one, sign it and then fire it off to Deb Matthews, the politician, warning her that you are not happy with her decision.

For my part I had no idea that there was even a problem… let alone a War that already had the large Shoppers Drug Mart locking serious horns with Deb. In fact if you haven’t heard the Shoppers folks have cut off Deb’s people from getting their drugs at just any time they would like to… to a more restricted hours that are more normal… like other stores. Up to now Shoppers has been open in our area almost 18 hours a day.

To get Deb’s attention they are going to stick it to Deb’s voters. And the Shoppers Drug Mart people have carefully calculated that this just might do the trick.

Now for most outside of Ontario this still makes little or no sense yet. What affect does it have on you? Well… most of the other provinces pretty much follow what Ontario does in pricing of their drugs. Quebec and Manitoba’s policy peg their drug selling rate in comparison to Ontario and on Ontario’s pricing. And without accurate knowledge I am guessing that the provinces east and west of these three pretty much are tied to what happens to the province next to them.

If you don’t live in Ontario and are older you may not know that all Seniors in Ontario have most of their drug costs paid for. All the Senior needs to do is pay a $100 fee in August and then all the drugs they use for the year are only charged a dispensing fee of one a month per drug needed.

In other words my 89 year old mother, that moved to Ontario from Saskatchewan 3 years ago, now has her approximate 10 perscription of pills per week paid for each month after she pays her $100 in August… then each month she only pays $6.11 per prescription per month. Complicated?

In Saskatchewan she was paying for the dispensing fee and the drug costs at about $3500 a year. In Ontario it is a fraction of that.

In Ontario we have a humungous amount of Seniors and the next generation of Boomers pushing their parents out of the way… and all needing excessive amounts of prescriptions… by the truck load.

AND GUESS WHAT… the Ontario Government is paying out wads of money to keep its “getting older by the day” Senior Population!!! Cutting back on the set price just makes a whack of sense.

Does that help your understanding?

So why the War?

Well by cutting the Shoppers Drug Mart(and all the others) piece of the pie down to a lot lower number their profit margin goes poof. So they say. By getting the shopper in Shopper’s Drug Mart and all the other drug stores upset with them… they hope to get Dear Deb Matthews to change her mind… and drop the idea. But reading about Dear Deb – I kind of think that aint going to happen.

There is a hidden part of this coded conversation between Drug Stores and Government. That hidden part is the Big Pharma (a created name for the Mega Drug Producers) that design and make the drugs for the Drug Stores. They forced the Canadian Government first to do it their way and back off or they would leave Quebec. Then they did the same to the Ontario Government by threatening to leave Ontario.

The Ontario Government and even Dear Deb won’t engage these companies in a conflict again… but they will take on – or pick on – the guys that sell what the Big Pharma makes… and stick it to them… which eventually sticks it to me… and you.

But what is new? They pretty much have been doing that to me all along anyway.

When I get gas for my vehicle I am getting the STICK for about 75 cents to 85 cents of the 97 cents of the gas I buy.

When my friend buys his cigarettes he gets the STICK for about 90% of the cost of the thing he buys.

When I walk out of any store I have to realize that I am getting the STICK for $13 extra in my province of every $100 I spend.

In fact my whole being is right full of STICK HOLES!
This is already far too long of a Blog… so I offer these solutions to settle things down in this War. Here they are…

Make a Law in Canada that the Big Pharma groups can leave Ontario and or Quebec only if they move the companies to Saskatchewan or Manitoba in Mosquito season. And if that is not to their liking they MUST MOVE TO THE YUKON! Costs of doing business in all three places will go up and there are less Golf Courses there for Fat Cat Executives to play on!!!

If the Shoppers Drug Mart wants to close earlier so be it. Most Seniors that I know do not shop after the dinner time anyway. They have their PJs on by 8 PM and are already yawning by 8:30 PM… or gonzo in the big comfy chair.

If the Pharmacist doesn’t like the cut in pay… sending him over to talk to me… and the other Seniors that received a drastic let down to their present fixed income when they retired.

And if they really don’t like working here in Ontario… catch a ride to the Yukon or Saskatchewan or Manitoba in Black Fly and Mosquito season.

My Granddaughter simply looks at the issue at hand and states, “Suck it up Princess”.

Dear Deb will stick it to the Drug Stores in May.
Dear Dalton will stick it to me with the HST in July.

And the Dear Folk of Ontario will be expected to VOTE for a Government in October.

Do you think someone will STICK IT TO SOMEONE ELSE – somewhere along the line?

Yikes – I think that I understand now. I am going to go cut a STICK today. Yahoo.

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Saturday, April 17, 2010

“End of the World” Poof, Bang, Shake, Rattle and Roll

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Today’s Blog Post

“End of the World” Poof, Bang, Shake, Rattle and Roll

On Thursday one of the senior ladies at our New Friends group asked me a question that I have mulled over ever since…

“Murray, what do you think of all these earthquakes and the storms that are coming now? IS IT the END of the WORLD?”

She is in her mid nineties and not in the best of health. But she does not miss a beat when it comes to keeping up to date with news around her. Her eyesight is not good so she listens to a lot of TV and Radio. The news of the many earthquakes has bothered her.

The news of the Volcano erupting in Iceland caught her attention as well. And it probably has caught your attention as well.

In the UK it certainly has caught folk off guard to say the least. With every airline that flies in and out of Britain each day no longer flying in or out of Britain and the whole of UK – it has been quiet.

I didn’t know that there are 7,500 aircraft each day flying over the UK each day. Now there are not. The number of aircraft over the whole of the Europe has been stopped as well. No one can move around with the freedom they had a week ago… because of the ash clouds that would potentially foul up the motors of jet engines and cause airlines to crash.

One person commented on this wonder for himself living in London, England… “Still so lovely without aircraft over London. Fabulous fog too. Or is it ash?”

I am not sure how close he lives to the air traffic core, but to not have any aircraft flying over head – suddenly it is quiet. This has not happened for a long, long time.

Just a while ago when they thought that the ash cloud produced by the Volcano was moving on, another layer is moving in and over the country now as I write.

The Scientists have no real prediction as to when this Volcano will subside or how long it will go on spewing the deadly gas and ash from the belly of the earth. Some have commented that this has happened before and in one case the eruption went on for years.

Another comment came from my reading is sticking in my mind. Not since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 has air traffic world wide been so deeply affected. This has a huge world wide impact all because of one volcano’s eruption in one strategic spot with dire consequences.

There are volcanoes in many parts of the earth that are even more active than this one in Iceland. The problem here is that it has taken place right in the path of one of the busiest places in the world.

When my senior friend asked the question about earthquakes and storms I became more aware of the news that is filled with more information than ever before… and I wondered why that is…

Volcanoes have been happening since the start of time… so has the radical weather. So why is there a difference now?

The senior lady has followed a certain train of thought from more documentaries on TV lately where the “End of the World” stories have been run more frequently.

“End of the World”
By Googling “End of the World” I got 26,000,000 responses. Many were religious nuts raving over their ideas of the end of the world. Having stated that out loud I also have to say that I am a bit of religious nut – BUT I am not like the ones that I have watched and listened too today on the Media.

The one thing this “religious nut” knows for sure after studying the bible for years is that “no ones knows the hour or the time except for the Father…” In other words no one will know anything until it happens.

But what about what Jesus said about the end of time when the preachers quote about the earthquakes reports of them increasing… is that a new sign that the predictions are being fulfilled?

I fall back on the best answer for me – “no one knows”.

But what I do watch with amazement is the immediacy of it all. No sooner does one of these world tragedies take place than it is reported on. The communication modes today are astounding with their abilities to keep people connected.

If there was another Pompeii Disaster today as there was in 79 AD, people would have been Texting from the Rooms they were hiding in as 66 feet of ash covered them in their town. People would have known what was going on immediately – rather than thousands of years later.

My point is that with the impact of communication it would appear that there are far more things happening. It may or may not be true… but I certainly know more about it sooner and can worry quicker.

December 12, 2012 or December 21, 2012
The recent End of the World predictions have been plucked or deduced from an ancient Mayan Calendar from what I have read… stating that the day is December 21, 2010 – or 12212012 – or maybe that is 20121221. And it is likely going to be at the 12th hour, the 12th minute and 12th second when it takes place. Some how someone will reach into the big bath tub of earth and pull the plug – or flip the switch… and it will be over.

One Web Site offers these words…
HOW SERIOUSLY should you take the talk about an end of the world 2012 doomsday?

There are a number of December 21, 2012 predictions about the end of the world, earth as we know it. Some say that on an ancient Mayan calendar 2012 points to the end of the world: they pick December 21 2012 as the exact day as that is when the calender ends. Others speak of a Nostradamus 2012 doomsday prediction.

Some 2012 end of the world predictions are connect to each other, some are not. It has got to the point where the thought of a December 21 2012 doomsday is freaking some people out. Should you be freaked? We don't think so. For starters, given past doomsday predictions and prophecies about the end of the world, earth should have ended by now! Since the earth is still here, it would be fair to say then that, to date, all doomsday prophecies and predictions about the end of the world (before 2012) have failed!
End Quote

So what do we believe? What do I believe? What do you believe?

I believe there will always be doomsday people… and soothsayers. There will always be people that will make money and movies about the end of time… enough at least to sell one more book and a few hundred thousand tickets each weekend until a Gazillion Dollars are made off of it.

I know that I am glad that I don’t have tickets to fly to the UK this week – or that I am not stuck in the UK trying to get back to Canada. In either case it could be the end of the world for me… as I hate being trapped.

How do you comfort a 94 year old that can’t figure out what is happening in the world around her?

I think I will help her by suggesting that she turn off the TV… like I do.

Nostradamus and the Mayans will not get to me if I simply turn it off… I think….

~ Murray Lincoln ~