Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Stepping into a Holiness Muddle

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Stepping into a Holiness Muddle
“Oh! Oh! I think I did it again… how do I get out of this one!” was my very first thought after the words skipped out of my mouth. “Ah nuts!” was my second thought.

I had committed a foul in the “ministerial game of rightness”. I had said something that likely was going to be debated with me right then and there.  They knew that I was wrong in their eyes and their way of thinking.  And I knew that I would be considered wrong in their eyes and thinking.  Now how to get out of this one?

The setting..
I was demonstrating my wood carving at a show recently when the wide eyed kids came up to see what I had on my table.  They were really cute and from number one to number five they all looked very much the same.  You could see that they were all the same “peas in the pod”.

If I would have looked closer at the Dad I would have had a clue. He was dressed like he was going to a meeting of some sort, maybe church?  It was not a Sunday.

Mom’s clothing might have given me a clue also as she was dressed with a full length skirt on and her hair was longer.

But I had looked at the beaming eyes of the kids, they almost twinkled.  All five had that ‘Wow’ look about them.

Along with the kids and their parents were the Grandparents that stood back a little and smiled as I told the stories of the different carvings and old toys on my display table.

The kids asked questions and mom kind of cheered them on as they took part in the action I provided.

Dad stood there kind of looking down his nose quietly. He was sizing me up. No kidding. He was doing a C.A.T. Scan on my person for some reason or other?  Maybe it was because I had his kids laughing and his wife was responding as well. With the Grandparents interacting as well he was growing even more suspicious of me and had said nothing.

That was definitely weird.  I was moving at a clip speaking with his kids and they were giggling at my stories.

On my table I had toys. These ‘toy ideas’ were created back in the last two centuries.  They are made of wood and are quiet to use and rather mesmerizing in their own special way. Only one is not quiet to use as it makes a gentle buzzing sound… like a bug in the tree.

I should mention here that it is a pioneer exhibit which I do a lot of in a number of places now.

When I get to the toy part of my story I explain to the children, “Grandpas used to make these for their Grandkids to use on Sunday afternoon – when everyone was to be quiet.” I explained that the folk all went to church on Sunday morning and then they were quiet for the rest of the day. Way back then Sunday was a “day of rest”.

I usually ask the kids if they were able to be quiet all day Sunday.  They usually say an adamant. “NO WAY!”

I think it was at that moment that I busted something in this family’s group relationship with me… oh boy!

Dad stared at me even more and mom’s smile dropped a little. The kids had mixed emotions on their faces… and Grandpa had lost a little of his smile too but he was looking right at me to see what would come next.

You are asking me at this moment… “What happened? Why the rapid change?!?”

I still had not figured it out at this point.

I rolled on with Grandpa Lincoln’s road show and talk. I rattled on how I had found it hard to be quiet on Sunday morning or Sunday afternoon.  I told the group that all of the kids in my day and age had problems living like that.

The Dad’s head cocked sideways a little with a new stance of sorts.  He appeared to be listening even closer to what I said now – analyzing every word that I was speaking.

I was genuinely nervous now.  What is going on!?

Instead of stopping what I was saying… oh boy… I blew it completely.

I changed the subject from being quiet all day Sunday to telling the kids that I also carved one more special thing… and I then pulled out the “Elder Wand” that I had carved specially for the kids.

AT EVERY OTHER SHOW this is when the kids will press in and ask if they can hold it.  Their eyes usually sparkle and they want to see more of it.  I did a very good job of carving this piece of wood and it looks just like the Elder Wand – the most powerful Wand of all Wands in the Harry Potter Movie, especially the last movie.

I told them that when I saw the movie with my Grandkids and Harry Potter had broken the Elder Wand at the end of the movie I decided then to carve one… at that exact moment.

Usually I have the small audience right with me as I describe that part.

Five kids stared at me and had no idea what I was talking about. Mom was puzzled and looked at her husband for some reaction. He was not only staring holes through me he was now sputtering something about, “…the children have never seen or know about Harry Potter.”


It then registered with my tiny brain… these are strict parents that WOULD NEVER ALLOW THEIR KIDS TO LOOK AT THAT EVIL STUFF like Harry Potter.  They couldn’t even say Harry’s name.

Double oops.

But I didn’t quit there. You just know that I wouldn’t – right?

I sputtered on that after those years of trying to be quiet on Sunday afternoon I had become a Minister in a church for over 35 years. Blah, Blah, Blah.

The Dad looked intently at me and asked in rather stern voice, “What church would that be?”

I hesitated and then sputtered, “Pentecostal…” and stopped.  I knew that I was about to hear the rest… oh boy.

“I am an ordained Independent Baptist Minister and we are starting an independent church in the Scarborough, Toronto area” he stated. “It is a missionary work and I am from Pennsylvania.”

Now I saw possible recovery coming.  “Oh wow that is great! I was not only a Minister in Canada but also a Missionary in Asia. I had the wonderful opportunity to live in Hong Kong and travel in China. I also was able to learn to speak Chinese somewhat… Cantonese and some Mandarin… along with reading and writing some…”

I was about to say more when this white guy, newly revealed Independent Baptist Minister began to babble in Mandarin to me something about, “I speak Mandarin and am now studying it further…!”  Too funny! I laughed a little and replied in Cantonese… that,  “I only speak a little bit of Mandarin and only really speak Cantonese.”

He couldn’t understand me and looked a bit nonplus – I had one up on him. Two white guys speaking Chinese dialects and the old guy did a little better.  Note to self – there were no Chinese people within a 100 miles of where we were standing!

It was about then that all my previous babbling and explaining about a quiet Sunday afternoon was the way that they still lived… and the kids didn’t particularly like it but were doing what they were told. In all likelihood they were home schooled as well and not in contact with that other worldly bunch that went to shows and knew about Harry Potter.

It is highly likely that the Independent brand of Baptist stuff he was part of preached the need for severe Holiness and Hell was in the theater or whoever went to places like that.

Pentecostals used to be like that… but not so much anymore.

But then there is a severe brand of Baptist that simply know that Pentecostals are demon possessed because we speak in tongues (and not the Cantonese kind of tongue!).  No kidding I had one of my ‘Baptist Minister friends’ tell that on of his professors at the theological college he had attended gave his theological basis for Pentecostalism… demons.

Remember when I told you that I thought that, I had committed a foul in the “ministerial game of rightness”.  Well there was the reason… he knew I was different and now he knew why!

Thank God for the Grandpa. What gem.  He told me that he was once with the Postal Service in the USA, retired from that and then went to Bible College – now he was an Ordained Baptist Minister… and that he was delighted to meet me. “I am the same age as you and do similar things. It is really good to meet you! Praise the Lord!”  I think he must have some Pentecostal Minister Friends.

The Dad just looked at me… and I am not sure what he was thinking.  He told me a little more about his church efforts and that he was studying Mandarin on his own and had never been to China.

After they walked away I began wondering – was it the quiet all day Sunday story… or maybe the Harry Potter stuff… that was my biggest blunder?

(Note to self: look closer at the audience before you open your mouth and put your foot in… and when your one foot goes in – STOP – do not change Feet… it does not taste too good.)

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Church Service, the Shuddering, the Park and Friends – Oh Boy!

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The Church Service, the Shuddering, the Park and Friends – Oh Boy!

I begin with the way that I stopped on my last posting… Sheesh!

Since Friday’s encounter at Miss K and Mr. K’s place, the thinking about them and their young family, meeting some more folk that with more but different needs… my battery is drained this AM.

When you try to sort out the needs that you encounter it gets real complicated at times.  The politicians/authorities that need to be notified, the messes of lives that some people leave behind them and the general exposure to lives that are twisted and bent… kind of get to me at times.

No no… that wasn’t about the K’s living conditions… it was about another place called “church” – you know the place that good people go Sunday morning.  I attended another one this weekend and it was hard.

After it was all over, in the afternoon we headed to the Park to sit by the lake.  I faded into my lawn chair to try to push away the thoughts that flooded my mind.

I shuddered as I closed my eyes yesterday afternoon… as the face of the six or so people in the church Sunday morning came back to my mind.  I shuddered again as I remembered their body language as they sat stiffly with arms crossed and never sang one word of the hymns and chorus being sung. 

I hadn’t encountered this kind “The Force be with you!(or at you)” for a long while now.  Some of the folk sitting there were really not happy… that was before I spoke and got turned on about getting happier and doing something in the community… and how Jesus was unhappy with his Disciples for their unbelief (Mark 16:9-18 – you know…and then gave them “The Great Commission”) and told them to go into all the world and make a difference. Oh boy!

In the song service they never sang.  They did stand up when asked to, and then sat down when everyone else did.

I looked at them in the early part of the service. I purposefully turned around and watched them.  I had to know what I was involved in and who was going to possibly listen to what I was going to say. It was not like being on the Radio or TV – and not knowing who the audience is.

It is worse by far because you can see them and your silly brain records what you see.

I was in a different church and filling in for the vacationing pastor.

As I closed my eyes in the Park… I shuddered again… would the poor minister returning from his vacation encounter a firestorm of lovely complaining Christians when he came back?

I wish I could have just gone to the church and led a song that my kids used to sing the Barney Song… “I love you, You love me, We’re happy family… la la la”.  Then I could just walk out… yikes… shudder again.

Leaving that church for a few moments… the reality is that the church is not all that happy generally.  One likes this, another hates it. Another loves that but half the group protests and says a loud “NO!”  We come together to disagree on most things but agree that we are not happy.

That is likely why we stopped singing that old Hippy type of church song… you know… “They’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love… oh yes they will know we are Christians by our love!”

The Hippy types that came to church a few years ago dressed weird and acted weird – and never looked like a Christian – and they knew it. So they wrote a song about what they did rather than what they looked like.

At least the folks were honest Sunday morning. They didn’t like – whatever.  But you can never tell if it was their breakfast that did it, the bad service at the restaurant/coffee shop on the way to church or maybe their Gall Bladder was killing them as they sat there? 

Maybe they just had a Royal Battle in the car on the way to church? You know… she though they had time to go to Tim Horton’s on the way to church and he was upset because the coffee wouldn’t be cool enough to drink before they went in!  Stupid idea – he said so and she took offence…?

Didn’t you know that tidbit?  People fight with each other in the car before they get to church. It is true. The teens that I worked with at one point told me they hated coming to church because mom and dad fought with each other in the car and then sang stupid songs about love Sunday morning!

I shuddered again… there sitting off to right side of the church was a young mom with her kids.  One was her baby that had a feeding tube into her little body. One was a cute young girl that had a nice dress on and was wearing her mother’s high-heeled shoes – all dressed up for church.

When the service came to an end, most people left rather quickly. Oh boy!

I stood at the front speaking with some folks casually – the happy ones.  One lady from the congregation plunked herself down on the front pew and stated clearly that, “We sure are a grouchy bunch!”, then shook her head. I think she had been in the foyer. Oh boy!

The young mom wanted to speak with me. The conversation was very friendly. She is a sharp gal. Her story told me the rest.

This was the first time she had come to church. She lives right next door in a nice apartment. Oh I wished that we had more time to help her… but it was good she sat right at the front on the right hand side with her kids… she never saw ‘the mighty six’.

Back sitting in the Park I shuddered again.  Oh well – I guess I won’t be going back to that church again… oh boy… breathe deeply and keep breathing…

Later as I sat at my carving bench in the Park I concentrated on what needed to be carved.  But the thoughts still swirled…

It was then that God sent two Angels to minister to me… two friends that we have known for a longtime dropped by just then with their lawn chairs.  Their happy voices and laughter did what it should – picked me right up.

As seasoned Christians they have gone through lots but still laugh with us.  In fact I can say – they are good for us.

And knowing that they came to the Park to see us… meant a lot.

They didn’t know that I was shuddering with “The Force Be at you” thing. They had no idea what I was internalizing at that minute.  But they simply said we are with you – by being there at the right time!

On boy… shudder again… The pastor returns from his vacation on Wednesday… may the general “Gall Bladder” problems or whatever will be passed by then… and maybe somehow someone in the church will reach out to that young mom…

Oh boy!
~ Murray Lincoln ~

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Not-so-good Landlords and Property Managers of Peterborough

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The Not-so-good Landlords and Property Managers of Peterborough
(Warning – this is a 1400+ word posting that tells the truth!)

Knowing that people use ‘Search Words’ in their browsers to find things on the Internet… I really want to entitle this posting, “Slum Landlords and Property Managers of Peterborough” – but I might get into problems with certain powerful people.

But hey if that is the truth why not write about Slum Landlords of Peterborough? Why not write about rotten to the core Property Managers!?

Well today I can honestly write about some of the worst personalities of our fine city(or outside our city). They are really the lowest of the low when it comes to the way that they treat people and what they offer for housing.

Now this a pretty strong stance to take as I address this issue… I know. But I know that these dear folk live in relatively nice houses or I should say REALLY NICE HOUSES!  And they wouldn’t let their dog stay in the place that they own – let alone their kids or even live there themselves but they will rent to others with little kids and not give a ding dong,

Hey Lincoln… you are really steamed up about this.  Why?  What got your tail in a knot?

Last night we visited a young couple that are planning their marriage in the middle of August 2012.  We were warmly welcomed into their home and offered a wonderful cup of coffee.  It was our second meeting as we work together on their wedding/life plans and get to know each other.

When we get involved with a couple in this way we want them to know who we are as well – before I perform the wedding ceremony.  I refuse to stand there in front of God and these two very important people – and just say some words.  This marriage ceremony means much to me and from what I see it means the world to them.

The contact with this couple came as result of a contact at the Peterborough Square and the “Mall Table Ministry” that I have written about before.

The young lady dropped by to meet me one day when she heard that I conducted wedding ceremonies. The young man at an earlier date had also stopped to talk to me about my art work and had told me that he was interested in drawing.  The “Mall Table” had brought us together.

I am going to give them a name for you to fasten your thoughts to… they are “Miss K” and “Mr. K”. That should be simple enough to help you connect with them.

“Miss K” and “Mr. K” each had two children when they came together.  In this past year they have now had a beautiful baby girl together. They have been living together for 5 years and making a go of it.

Their story is long and complicated to say the least.  Just getting to this point their lives would require me to write a big book to tell all that has happened to this young couple so far.

Miss K is just completing her college studies and will begin her new job shortly.  Mr. K is a stay at home dad that loves all of the kids and does a real good job at what he does with them.

At the end of the month of August they are moving to an acreage just outside the city where they will be living in farm house situated on 200 acres of land. They are so excited.

Their present home…
Well with the new farm house on the horizon and the move taking place… they are escaping the present living conditions of a small apartment on a shady Peterborough street… which is a “row house” of years ago. 

My rough guess is that the building they live in is over 100 years old.

Their belongings are piled up on one side of the room ready for moving.

It was after my question about the very old building and what they knew of it that they kind of stumbled with how much they hate the place.

When you look closely you can see how tired the apartment is and how long ago it is since anything was done.

They told what they pay for rent – a whopping $1500 per month – for the upstairs and main floor units. But when they told us that their electric bill is averaging $700 a month – I nearly fell of the couch.  How could that be?

They have to use space heaters to heat the place – the furnace doesn’t work. There is warning plastered on the furnace that it is not to be used. The Gas Company has issued that warning – there is something seriously wrong with the furnace… It is very Dangerous – it would appear that if it is used they could die from the resulting problem!!

A window that broke had to be replaced. Someone came and took the pane of glass out of one and put in another.  Not sure if I got that story completely straight – but it appears that a Property Manager has taken his liberty to deal with issues on his own in a very CHEAP WAY! (Guess who is pocketing money!)

When Miss K complained to the Property Manager about …furnace… window… whatever… he has a simple, straight forward, ignorant answer… are you ready for this… it is a direct quote… “Move your shit!” – which is common street language, “If you don’t like it get out… there are plenty more people I can rent to that will do as I say!”

Has anyone told this Jackass Property Manager that a place without a furnace in Ontario, in the cold of winter, is dangerous for little kids to live in?  Has anyone told him that the space heaters they have to use, that cost a bundle – are dangerously over loading a system that is not wired to do that job!!!?  A fire could start and the family could be wiped out… or worse yet – ALL DIE!

How could anyone pay $700 a month?  Well you see they are on social assistance.. and whatever the cost is that month the social assistance people simple give them a portion of the costs.  So if they have to use space heaters – no problem. If the furnace doesn’t work – it is not the Social Assistance people that are at fault – it is the Landlord first (who likely doesn’t even know about it) or the Property Manager who can rent it again at exorbitant prices – in a heartbeat to more people that are struggling to keep their heads above water too.

Yep, “Move your shit!”  That’s so stupid there are no words to really tell you what I think.

By the way – there are ten rentable apartments in that row house owned by the same owner. Simple math tells you that she is raking in $7,000 a month on this one row house – and she pays nothing for repairs… or if she does… the Property Manager is pocketing the money and doing nothing.

Someday, someone in that row house will die. But guaranteed the Owner will not be at fault… neither will the Property Manager… the silly, struggling young mom with three kids in one apartment, or the dad with his daughter alone in the other area – will be at fault – but not the fine lady making $7,000 per month for doing nothing!

If I could only get a hold of this Owner and tell her to, “Get your Ass out here take a look at what you are doing to young families!”

And if I could ever speak to that Property Manager, I wouldn’t have words to reason with him. He simply is worthless and the Stupid, Fine Lady doesn’t have a clue how bad he is making her look.

There – now I feel I have your attention.  Do you think you would be willing to go with me and talk to the Fire Department about what is happening in that place?  Would you be willing to speak to Mayor Daryl Bennett with me about where his City Money is going to – or maybe we should speak to the Member of Provincial Parliament, Jeff Leal and ask what he thinks about how the Ontario Money is being spent in this way because the Manager/Owner doesn’t give a rip.

But if we did that 10 families wouldn’t have a place to live anymore.

You know… I hate knowing what I know… but I am so glad that Miss K and Mr. K will be leaving at the end of August… so very glad. I am so looking forward to this wedding coming up and their brand new start!!!!


~ Murray Lincoln ~

Friday, July 27, 2012

Arrrgghh! Not again! House Problems!!! The Red Neck Repair

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Arrrgghh! Not again! House Problems!!! The Red Neck Repair
So guess where I am going first thing this AM?

Yep! Home Depot – my favorite place on earth. Their Moto is “You can do it – we can help!”  And today I have to do it – again.

We have booked a Roof Repair that is coming shortly – in a week or so or maybe a little more. I am really in no hurry but it has to be done and Christmas is only five months away.

Why is this happening?

Well a month or so ago our dining room table had some things laying on it that were a ‘next project’ for me. These things were plain wood bird houses that are going to be decorated for our back yard.  I picked up the bird houses and they were wet!

The table is directly below the chandelier that lights the room up… and sure enough there was water coming down from the chandelier… slowly and making fairly big drips on the table below.

That week we had that huge rain storm with high winds.  The guys at Home Depot told me that their shelves were emptied of the roof patching material as everyone had a problem or two with their roofing.

When he said that I felt a little better.

I did a reasonable job of patching and then arranged for help to get the roof repaired. However… with the very hot weather, and then more rain over the past few days… my patches have let go. More dripping on the table as of last night and again this morning… Arrrgghh! Not again! House Problems!!!

Well what should I do? More roof patching will be done today – outside.  But in a flash I had the answer for inside. My dining room table will never be wet again. I have that solved and should be able to make it to Christmas or even longer.

My wife isn’t out of bed yet to see the way that I was able to brilliantly solve our problem. I am bursting at the seams to tell her how smart I am.  I know she will just love it… kind of… I think… maybe…

Maybe I will just let her sleep and then see if she can spot the repair later today. Hmmm?

Now if every man thought the way that I did a lot more could be done to keep stuff out of our landfill sites, You can incorporate it into the d├ęcor.

What am I getting at…? Well that was my build up to letting you actually see the repair job guys.

The only thing you need to repair this leaking ceiling is a chair and the ability to stand on the table top.  And Bingo it is all done.

What do you think?  Will she love it or not?  I think she will be so impressed that on the next Father’s Day I will get another card that refers to my insane ability to repair things!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Our trees are crying this morning

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Our trees are crying this morning
As I looked out this morning I saw the tree beside our driveway crying with joy.  The bush in the front yard is doing the same… so is the grass.

How can a tree, bush or grass cry?

For well over a week now we have had extremely hot weather and no rain.  The grass died first. Then the bushes started looking withered.  Finally the tree was just not itself.  In fact we suspect that the tree has stopped waiting fro water to come normally and is now heading into our water/sewer drain pipes – looking for water.

It has been extreme for our farmers and anyone counting on vegetation of any kind to support themselves.  Nothing is growing at the rate that it usually does in our area.  In fact they are now using the word drought to describe what we are going through with this weather changing.

I was speaking with a friend in the western part of Africa where it is always hot.  I asked him what the thermometer was reading over this past week. His answer was simple, “Everyday is the same. The highest we have had is 31 C. It is always the same and doesn’t get hotter than that.”

Whoa!  What a shock that was to hear his report. It is hotter in this part of Canada than it has been in that part of Africa!

But give us about 5 months from now and we will have a snow shovels ready for we will have lost 30 to 40 degrees C!  It will be snow time again. (Boxing Day Sales are only 5 months from today in case you haven’t notice…)

As I listened to the rain coming down steadily most of this morning I smiled. What a peaceful time it was early today.

My life is like the tree in our yard.  It has grown strong and tall.  But it counts of every drop of moisture to keep going. It needs support from its good ground below and the water that comes its way. Without that support from a good root system and the vital water that is needed – it will die.

When the really hot weather of life comes along and the troubles related to it all, it is very difficult to face each day.  And I admit that it has been hard through those times to keep going, to keep focused and stay alert.  My ‘leaves’ were wilting and my life was drooping.

But then God sends the rain at the right time.  It is then that he sends the right person to be there when I need them. It is then that unsuspected blessings fall like the rain did this morning… softly and with such grace.

But there have been some lightning and thunder this morning as well. A whole lot like my life… just enough thunder to remind me who is charge!!!

I THANK GOD this morning for rain... for my yard and for my life!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Huge Problem with my Zero Gravity Chair

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The Huge Problem with my Zero Gravity Chair
So here is the problem… I have GREAT DIFFICULTY sitting in a Zero Gravity Chair/Anti-Gravity Chair!

My friend Brenda mentioned to me that she thinks their Zero Gravity Chair has caused them problems as well.

But our problems are not the same… I am afraid.

The minute I sit in one my eyes go closed and I am a goner. I can be to asleep in seconds… and even in the store as we were trying them out I was gone.  My wife asked me a question and that hit home just before I was nodding off… which then jerked me back to reality.  YOU ARE SITTING IN THIS THING – IN A STORE! Wake UP!!!

Now there is a problem with the chair and the old body that I have. If I leave this old body laying or sitting in the same position too long it tends to stiffen up and even freeze up.

The joints that I possess now are all kind of creaky and well just plain older than they used to be. If I sit too long it takes a few minute getting up and out of that chair.

A few weeks ago in the park as we sat in our chairs I was out of there – zip I went to sleep in two heart beats!

I awoke to find that all the people around me had changed and gone home… and a whole new batch of new neighbors had moved in beside us.

Oh Boy!  I wonder if my snoring with that deep sleep had sent my neighbor’s out of the park?  I distinctly remember waking to one of my inglorious snorts as I gasp for breath at that moment…. Then I looked around to see if anyone was laughing.

(Having that inglorious snort keeps me awake during church – because of the possibility of the snort waking others in church too!)

Possessing the ability to instantly sleep – anywhere… is a treasure or sorts.  You can easily pick up needed or lost sleep at any moment.

Putting my body into the Zero Gravity Chair is dangerous.  I am gone and out very quickly… and while away I need to trust those around me. If my wife is there she will protect me… if she isn’t you could walk away with anything I have of value and rob me blind. I am so not there!!!

In my rough calculations I estimate that my body has had 297,840 movements multiplied by the number of joints in my body that move in 12 hour session of being awake.  My calculations is this… 68 years old X 365 Days of each year = 24,820 days – moving for roughly 12 hours a day = 297,840 – with all of my 106 bones having a joint between them… 31,571,040 interactive movements or MORE!

Putting this tired body in a Zero Gravity Chair is dangerous.

Has my post today made you tired?  Really?  Go find a chair and sit down… head back… feet up… deep breath… good night… IT IS THAT EASY!

Have a good one!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Monday, July 23, 2012

Meeting ‘Woof’ the Fishing Dog

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Meeting ‘Woof’ the Fishing Dog
As I drank my coffee and enjoyed the early morning sunshine with my book, a sound behind me brought me back to the present.

The sound was a loud “Woof” and the “Woof” belonged to a bigger dog. Even though I couldn’t see him I could feel the “Woof”.

The Woof got louder and more intense.

The Woof belonged to a larger Golden Retriever that was sitting directly behind my chair and the small bush at my back.

He was apparently not happy sitting where he was and he wanted some action.  His owner had gone into the Silver Bean Coffee Shop on our waterfront.  And that owner was taking too long according to the Woofs coming from my large friend.

I will call him “Woof” as that is the first way he connected with me.

Just outside the Silver Bean Coffee Shop is a bowl of cold water that is offered for Woof and all his friends that might be stopping by with their owners.  Dogs like Woof are welcome at this outdoor coffee shop. Impressive.

I read on and realized after a moment that Woof had stopped woofing and was not there any longer. The “woof” was replaced by a splashing sound…

As I looked over the rail to the level below the Coffee Shop, Woof was in the water and he was fishing!

No kidding… this dog was something else!

He watched intently the bottom of the lake and shore line for things that would move and then he would pounce on it… taking a big bight at the water.

Woof walked around and around, up and down the shore looking for critters that he could catch.

Not far from Woof were the regular mass of ducks that collect around the boat peer.  They watched their fury friend with caution. When Woof turned their way they would quickly reverse directions to a little deeper water.

But Woof had no interest in these feathered critters… he was looking for things below the water surface.

Wait a minute!  Woof and all Golden Retrievers are BIRD DOGS!  They love the chase and the hunt of Birds.  They are not Fish Dogs… there is no such thing as a Fish Dog.

Wrong – Wrong – Wrong!

This character was a Fisherman supreme… and he stayed at it for well over one hour and a half that I was there.

Woof was without his leash on… his only desire was to fish, wade in the water back and forth and chumped down on whatever was there for him to catch.

His owners were two ladies, one in a wheel chair and the other sitting down near the water’s edge where she could keep an eye of Woof.

When the two ladies were ready to leave Woof climbed out of the water and gave a mighty shake.  Then he trotted beside the wheel chair as they headed down the sidewalk towards home.

The dog in this park was my joy of the day. Someone else owned it and I could enjoy it.  Woof was amazing and was a blessing in a strange disguise. A big old, golden Labrador Retriever that was just there to have fun.

His earlier “woof” and its intensity was sounding out, “Hey Mom, get your coffee and let’s get going… I want to fish!”

Each time I have sit in the park and I wait for my new fury friend come by and greet me.  They are so friendly.

I have also found that Dog Owners are the most friendly people that I have met as well.  They have to be. Their dog always bring them along to give me the greeting that I need… a quick lick, a sniff and a turn around that says, “Please scratch that spot for me… just a little to the left… yesss… that’s it… mmm… Thank you!”

A quick lick and they are gone.

Woof was amazing.  But taking time to sit and watch Woof and the other dogs that came along too… is far more important that what I should be doing.

Should be-s are gone now… what happens right now is far more important than “Have to”.

“Woof, Woof, Woof!”

I got that Woof… hold on I am with you and into the water we go…. Oh boy this will be fun!!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Meet Woof...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Marriage of Daniel Junkin and Madison Dugan

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The Marriage of Daniel Junkin and Madison Dugan
The young man Daniel stood in front of me showing some distress and nervousness.  He was not at ease at all.

He confided in me as we spoke privately, “This is my third bride this week. None of the others would marry me.”

I felt for the young fellow. It certainly had been a trying week for him,

It was then that Madison came up to where we were standing and I met her for the first time.  She was with her “mother” and her bridesmaid.  Madison was a beautiful young lady.

Madison said to me, “This is my bridesmaid, she was going to be the bride today but then she backed out.”

My eyebrows went up with this admission and the giggles from the young ladies.

I think the “mother” may have also been one of the possible Brides for today but she also changed her mind on Daniel.

As I walked away from the group to prepare myself for this wedding ceremony another young lady introduced herself to me.  She thanked me for coming for the ceremony today but also explained, “When you get to the part in the ceremony where you ask if there is anyone who objects to this marriage, I am going to object loudly! I hope you will understand. I was also supposed to be Daniel’s Bride today.”

My eyebrows went to the top of my face with this declaration and question for my approval at her coming actions.

What have I gotten myself into…?

I apologize if it seems that you are caught into some kind of circus at this point and might just be concerned as to how I might handle all these small twists in the plot that is developing.

I am a Minister as some of you know. I do conduct wedding ceremonies for couples that are starting their lives together.

I am also a volunteer at the Settler’s Village In Bobcaygeon, Ontario as well as Lang Pioneer Village in Lang, Ontario.

And it is in this role as Pioneer Volunteer that I was overseeing this Marriage Ceremony at the Fairbairn Church in the Settler’s Village.  The staff had contacted me to see if I would be willing to conduct a “mock wedding ceremony” for the kids at the summer camp being held at the Village.

The young counselors that were helping with the children were my volunteer Bride and Groom, Mother of the Bride, Bridesmaid and Groomsman… and Objector to the wedding(which was all the counselor’s idea).

This wedding was way too much fun.  And the children listened very closely to what was being said and what we were doing in the small church setting.

Pause here…
This was Friday afternoon and the parents had been invited to come in for the final afternoon of activities – and specially to take part in the wedding ceremony… which they did by making a video of it and also by shooting some photos.

Before the wedding I had walked into the Village with my black outfit on while wearing my Stove Pipe Top Hat.  I came up behind the group of parents that had gathered to the back of the church for a photo shoot of the campers. This was just ending as the camp leader announced that the kids should now come into the church along with their parents for the wedding ceremony.

I was standing behind the parents who were talking with each other… one woman saying “… a Wedding..? Really??”  It was just then that she had turned to face me dressed up like a 1860s minister from 150 years ago.  She then said it all, “Oh my God they even have a Minister!” – at which point she realized that I had heard her and she clapped her hand over her mouth.

Too funny!

The first conversation that I shared with you took place at the wedding rehearsal that we had just prior to the photo op behind the church.

The guests at this wedding all filed into the church and took their seats as we stood waiting for our entrance.

As we entered the church the campers lead by their leaders hummed “Here comes the Bride…” loudly.

The wedding party arrived at the front of the aisle prepared to answer my questions and listen to what I was about to say.

Here is my Text that was gleaned from a number of sources from the 1800s marriage ceremonies that I found for this special day.

(Beginning of the Marriage Ceremony Text)
Dearly Beloved we joined ourselves together today to witness this marriage between Master Daniel Junkin and Mistress Madison Dugan

Who gives this woman to be married to this man?

§     Priest: Hast thou, Daniel Junkin, a good, free, and unconstrained will and a firm intention to take unto thyself to wife this woman, Madison Dugan, whom thou seest here before thee?
§     Groom: I have, reverend Father.
§     Priest: Thou hast not promised thyself to any other bride?
§     Groom: I have not promised myself, reverend Father.
§     Priest: Hast thou, Madison Dugan a good, free, and unconstrained will and a firm intention to take unto thyself to husband this man, Daniel Junkin whom thou seest here before thee?
§     Bride: I have, reverend Father.
§     Priest: Thou hast not promised thyself to any other man?
§     Bride: I have not promised myself, reverend Father.

Addressing the Congregation: I am asking now if there would be any here to today that can give just cause why these two cannot be joined in Holy Matrimony?

(The Explanation – at this point the Priest will address the congregation in matters related to marriage as it is based on the Holy Scriptures.  The Bride and Groom may be seated on two chairs before the Priest.)

The Vow
Groom: I, Daniel, take thee, Madison, to be my lawful wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

Bride: I, Madison, take thee, Daniel, to be my lawful wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.

Now, as the groom places the ring on the bride's finger, he says the following:
“With this Ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”

Final Prayer – for this new bride that she will have many children, she will know humility and obedience to God, to the Holy Church and her husband… and that he would worship her with all that he has.
(end of Text)

When I asked if there was anyone that might have a reason… the young lady playing the part of the Objector stood and shouted loudly that, “I object! Daniel promised me last year that he would marry me today!!”

Daniel then sputtered, “When did I do that?  I never said that at all!”

She cried out, “You did say that when we were feeding the pigs together that day!”

Daniel seemed to be without words… and then he said in a loud voice, “Don’t believe this woman! She is left handed and possessed with a bad spirit!!!”

She quickly pulled down her left hand that had been pointing at him and pointed her right hand….!!!

I paused for a long time as everyone was looking to me for a response.  Then I said, “I do not find this objection to be legitimate.  Young lady, would you please leave this building?”

And she did with her head down.

WHOA! Talk about drama!  These kids were good!  I needed only to show up.

I should explain that I didn’t preach a sermon. That would not have worked on this hot afternoon with the campers sitting in the pews.

I did bring along the hand carved Celtic Love Spoons and explained how they were used as a promise for marriage by the young man.  It was the engagement ring over the centuries where the young man puts his best abilities into his carving with hopes of impressing the young lady and also impressing her father that he was good with his hands.

I asked if they knew why the Bride carried flowers.

The answer is simple. Her Groom and perhaps most of the people in the church that day would not smell all that good… and she may be of the same smell as well. The scent of the flowers would help cover that smell… as well as being pretty and making her feel special.

Smell you say!?  Yep – when people only bathed once – maybe twice a year smell would be a part of what they were.

Another small tidbit of information that I shared was – the Spring Wedding was also the best time, after seeding of the fields, before the hot weather in the summer and after some of the stinky clothing could be shed – and maybe some could actually get a bath.

I shared that the wife was also supposed to “Obey” her Husband. There it was right in the middle of the text that I read for them.

When Madison heard those words and that she was supposed to repeat them after me (and he didn’t have to say that) she glowered.  In the ceremony she lowered her head and lowered her voice when she said them after me!  The audience caught this reaction and laughed out loud.

Oh… and at the end of the ceremony where the couple is to kiss… we had some problem with that part!  THESE WERE 14 year old teenagers and there was no cotton picking way that I would get them to go that far.  AND THEY WOULD NOT DO A Cheek to Cheek thing either!!!

Daniel did reach out his hand graciously bow to her – as her prince!
So now you know the story behind the photos that were taken….

Incidentally Madison was instructed by her mother and bridesmaid that she was not to look happy when the photo was taken!  Daniel picked that up as well.

In all – being a volunteer and helping the present world to understand that other world of years gone by – is priceless!

Thanks Settler’s Village for letting me be apart of this special day!!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Photos from The Junkin Dugan Wedding Album 
The Wedding Party - Rehearsal

The Moment the Objector raised her Objections

The Following Two Photos of Reverend Father Murray Lincoln - Explanation/Sermon

The not so happy Wedding Party