Thursday, October 27, 2005

God Beats

wood smoke rises
drum beats
ancient rhythms
power to soothe
the soul
or excite
into frenzy
he chants to ThunderBird
to appease the rain
shading my eyes
I glance skyward
and squint into clear
blue sky
wood smoke rises
heart beats
ancient rhythms
lost in time
and prayer

@2005 Eveline Maedel
Photo taken this summer at Old Fort William * o

Monday, October 24, 2005

Hope Through Transitions

"Happy are those who are helped by the God of Jacob. Their hope is in the Lord their God." Psalm 146:5

Fall is awash in glorious color as the days get shorter, the nights cooler and the air definitely crisper. I always find fall to be a sort of melancholy season for me. Winter is not my favourite of the four seasons, and fall is an ever present reminder that winter is around the corner. Fall is the transition season. In this neck of the woods it often transitions all too quickly. One day, warm and bright and colourful and the next morning a cold, wet snowy bleakness perches on the doorstep. No matter how many years I’ve been around, winter always catches me by surprise.

I find this fall to be a particularly bittersweet transition time for our church and our community. We started the season with great joy over the much anticipated start of construction of our new church home. As we neared the end of September, we faced shock and upset at the announcement of shutdowns and layoffs at Norampac. Many of our friends and loved ones are trying to navigate through some major decisions and questions right now.

Life is an ever constant transition, from the time we are born until the time we die. One look at our physical bodies is enough to remind us of these changes as we age. Christians know that our souls are constantly changing too, as the Holy Spirit works on our hearts and makes us “new creations in Christ”. ("Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day." 2 Corinthians 4:16) Every transition is both a small “birth” and a small “death” as something old makes way for something new.

While we cannot live completely static lives and escape these transitions all together, and God does not promise a perfectly smooth life, it is important to remember a couple of things God does promise or provide for us.

1) God promises us comfort. He has given us the Holy Spirit as our comforter. In John 14:16 we read "I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper (or Comforter, or Counselor) to be with you forever." God knows what we are going through and He will comfort us. Psalm 34:18 says "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed."

2) God has a plan for us. Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Note that this verse says “I know the plans I have for you” (emphasis on I). Not “you know” nor does it promise to “I will tell you exactly what those plans are”. Simply “I know”. God knows, God is in control. We are asked to trust in God’s plan. It’s a scary kind of trust, a leap of faith, a belief that “Father really does know best”.

We have to remember as well that everyone responds to transitions differently. Some people embrace change, running headlong into it with arms wide open and leaps of joy. Others stick their feet firmly on the ground, cross their arms, and begin to chant “We shall not be moved”. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle of these two. Let us continue to pray for each other, uplift each other and comfort each other, reminding ourselves that seasons come and go and but God is our ever present hope, comfort and strength.

"I pray that Christ will live in your hearts by faith and that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. And I pray that you all God's holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ's love - how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. Christ's love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God. With God's power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. To him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever. Amen" Ephesians 3:14-21 * o

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Cured not Cursed

I'm typing this with one hand. On my right hand I'm wearing a big bulky mitt that makes my hand sweat, is uncomfortable, and makes it extremely hard to use my dominant hand. For twelve hours today, I have "leprosy". The mitt is supposed to help me experience what a person with leprosy goes through. It's part of a Canada-wide fundraiser for The Leprosy Mission, called "Cured Not Cursed".

But, the mitt only really gives me the physical experience of a leprosy victim. It doesn't really give me the emotional experience of what someone with leprosy suffers. I still have my family and my home. No one shunned me in church this morning. Instead they were curious about why we were wearing the mitts. My family didn't kick me out of my house, or force me to live in the streets and beg for food. No one was afraid to touch me today.

In a few short hours I will joyfully shed this cumbersome mitt and go about my normal, nice, happy life again. Someone who really has leprosy is not so fortunate.

Around 1500 people each day will be told they have leprosy. Leprosy can be cured and its devastation halted by taking three pills a day for six months. The cost of treatment is about $275 Cdn per person. Such a pitiful small sum to make such a huge difference in someone's life. There is no reason that any child today should have to suffer with leprosy.

Please visit The Leprosy Mission website ( and consider making a donation. Leprosy can be cured. * o

Friday, October 14, 2005

October Storms

Thunderstorms in October are an unusual occurence around here. Just before supper, the dark black clouds rolled in. Booming thunder roared around. Thunder that seemed louder and closer than a summer storm. Even the clouds seemed to hang lower, barely clearing tree tops and roofs. The dog whimpered, as lightening flashed and popped and then the rain came. It poured and then it hailed. Tiny chunks of ice gathered on the patio table and flung themselves at the birdfeeder. The windowpane rattled with each rising crescendo of thunder. A fast moving storm, it was soon over. Dark clouds gave way to red sunset, promising "sailors delight" for the morn. * o

Saturday, October 08, 2005


In early morning light
I dreamt of the cat
Nibbling at my face
And pacing around my body
Lithe body ready to pounce
I put my arms up
In defense
And curled into fetal position
My legs kicked out
And launched said cat
From peaceful slumber
As I awoke
So much for reading about tigers
Before going to sleep.

@2005 Eveline Maedel All rights reserved * o

Friday, October 07, 2005


Today is the first day I've had to warm up the car before running off to work. The temperatures dropped last night, and the rain turned icy. Walking out on the deck this morning was a bit of an adventure! Fall has arrived. * o

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Hot Soup Days

The past couple of days have been perfect hot soup days. It's been cool, and raining steady. Yesterday morning I put some frozen homemade chicken soup in the crock pot so that by lunch time we could come home to "hot soup". I also put my sheep's wool mattress cover back on the bed, after it had made a visit to the dry cleaners. It had fluffed up perfectly, like brand new. Last night, I slipped into bed, snuggled down into the cloud-like comfort of the sheep's wool, wrapped the blankets around me and listened to the rain pelting on the window. I'm grateful for a belly full of hot soup, and warm blankets.

May I be mindful of the blessings in my life, particularly on hot soup days.

@2005 Eveline Maedel All Rights Reserved * o