Monday, 29 June 2015

Star Light, Star Bright by Susan L.

  This is definitely not the image in mind I started out with. It just sort of evolved, guided by the way the paint was applied to the 18" x 24" board.
  Thanks go to a couple of artists. One of who painted a similar image at the Battle of the Brushes although in a style all their own. The other was in my art group. They painted a dot for a star then later added a small circular wash around it, daubed it with a cloth and voila, a glowing star.
  I am very pleased with it.
  I've also started doing the garden scene. This time on a canvas. I don't like canvas as much. The paint takes way longer to dry. I'm also not happy with the beginning. It may mean starting again with the seeds of yet another idea.
  Thank You, Lord, for Your inspiration.
  The painting is giving me a nice distraction for the pain in my back. Standing at the drafting table for a bit between paint drying rests is probably helping me not get too seized up. It's much better today, thanks to an easy day yesterday.
  And this is just about all the sitting I can handle.
  As an aside, it won't be much longer before I've no more walls to hang art from. These paintings represent an evolution in confidence and ability. There is a story behind them, a gratitude tale. It would be very difficult to sell them. The fact that I am sharing these initial images with the world...to God be the glory! He's the one who has guided and grown me to this wonderful place!
  "There is gold and a multitude of rubies, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel." Prov 20:15
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Ouch! by Susan L.

  Nothing says "STOP!" like a wounded back. I could feel it growing tender while mowing the grass on Friday. Yesterday I spent some time installing a drop leaf extension to the shelf that serves as a painting work station. There is a need for more space for painting tools while working. The bending, leaning, pushing, and installing hardware did me in. So today, I am crippled with muscle pain and spasms. Even lifting my coffee cup causes a flowering of muscle pain bursts.
  I still managed to do the painting mentioned yesterday. Sitting isn't a problem. It ended up not being the garden scene envisioned yesterday but a smaller version of the one done for my friend. I am pleased with it but have a different idea bubbling to the surface. Working on it today just might be a much needed distraction.
  Or not. Bed sounds good too.
  Or both. A bit of painting, a rest, and repeat. A good way to spend a rainy Sunday.
  Pray for a rapid healing!
  "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me." Ps 138:7

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Get Painting by Susan L.

  I have decided to do a painting similar to the one that was produced for the Battle of the Brushes; the one with the garden and rose trellis in the background. This one's for me. My mom gave me these beautiful three dimensional china flowers in frames a while back. They are a favorite family keepsake that have been around as long as I have. They would nicely compliment a garden picture.
  My plan is to take a bit more time with it and add some detail to the garden besides blots of colour. Don't get me wrong, I like blots and blots will be a huge part of the piece. I like the impressionistic look that is so quick and easy to achieve with sponges. It's just, well, to step it up a notch and stretch the creative muscles. If it doesn't work, it can always be painted over.
  I've spent the week doing visual research outside and on the internet. Flowers and colours, trellis ideas, patio stones...studying how the light affects the different surfaces, studying how the shadows fall in the trees and greenery of my own garden. It's all in the seeing and taking mental snapshots.
  And the old hymn, "In the Garden", is my inspiration.
  I've been doing some thinking about all of this. In the beginning of my walk with the Lord, He called me to the drafting table. Art has been fundamental to my recovery as I've shared before. Now I am wondering if it might be a way to support myself or at least supplement my income. The age has come where retirement isn't that far off and the thought of living on government old age security because I've no other pensions is a grim future.
  Hmmm...is that a goal?
  I offer it up to You, Lord. You know how scary goals are for me. If this is Your plan for my life, help me grow as an artist and a business person. Don't let production devour the creativity. In Jesus' Name, Amen!
  "Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me." Ps 50:14-15
 
 

Friday, 26 June 2015

Mown Grass by Susan L.

  I spent several hours raking mown grass earlier this week. It was surprising how much the sweet fragrance triggered an emotional response. Memories of the hay field and the hard, hot and heavy work rose up unwanted. The anxiety and old worries swept over me. The echoes and rocking motion ghosts of the old hay baler...ka-thunk, ka-thunk...were as loud as if I was once again sitting on the old tractor.
  I look/felt a myriad of memories that was a bit like flicking though a bunch of old photos.
  Then the work retreat was at my co-workers house. Looking into the valley behind her place was like looking into the past. The farm where I used to live is in plain sight. The view was bittersweet.
  Lord, help me forgive what needs to be forgiven. In writing about it this time, I realize there's a lot of emotional trauma surrounding hay season.
  My ex was dangerous around the equipment. He took chances that could have gotten himself or somebody else killed. My warnings and cautions fell on deaf ears. Not surprising. My voice had been lost long before. Lord, You spared him. May he find his destiny in You. I choose to forgive him.
  Getting the equipment ready fell on my shoulders as did most of the farm work. Forgive me for being an enabler, for being so willing to look after the responsibilities of livestock and the grease gun.
  But most of all, Lord, help me forgive him for not being there the last year we did hay. Help me forgive him for setting his priorities on another while I shouldered the responsibility of running the farm, while I drove a truck that was held together with duck tape and a song. Help me forgive him for the huge amount of money he spent on his folly when the jeans I chose to wear were nothing but frayed rags. Forgive me for not feeling I deserved better.
  Help me, Lord, choose to forgive him for his deceptions.
  And that's enough of that for today. It's tough.
  Lord, fill me with Your grace and peace for the day. In Jesus' name I pray.
  "The Lord roars from Zion, and utters His voice from Jerusalem; The pastures of the shepherds mourn, and the top of Carmel withers." Amos 1:2
 
 

Thursday, 25 June 2015

All About Work by Susan L.

  Work had its staff retreat yesterday. It was a combination work/socializing opportunity. We spent most of the morning working on job descriptions then shared what we had written. It was a great way to learn what others did. The Krasman Centre has a large umbrella with various positions outside of the centre itself and people working in the role of peer support worker.
  There is a Peer Navigator at the Newmarket hospital whose role is to connect with people who come to the ER with mental health challenges. They can act as an advocate if requested. It's a big role that involves working with hospital staff and families. They also visit in-patients and do follow up with people once they leave the hospital. It's an important role as well. I know from first hand experience what it is to be discharged and forgotten. Studies have shown that Peer Navigators save money for the health care system but more importantly, they save lives. Most suicides take place two weeks after discharge. Simply having someone call to see how you are doing is a blessing.
  Another external role is the WRAP Hub Co-ordinator. Their job is to organize WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) and FWRAP (WRAP for families) locations and fill them with participants throughout the greater Toronto area. Which goes as far north as us. They have a number of facilitators to draw from depending on the location of the group.
  There's a family support worker in Richmond Hill. It is for family members who are impacted by a loved one's challenges. There is a peer group for them as well as the opportunity for personal support. This staff also works the drop-in.
 When I hear all what the organization I work for does in the community, it makes me glad I am a small part of it.
  Our Executive Director shared her role as did others who are more involved with the administrative end of the business. As for drop-in workers, our role covers everything from housekeeping and maintenance to running groups to making sure the centre is a safe and respectful environment. My speciality is facilitating creative workshops.
  It's wonderful working in a place that is a strength based and growth encouraging environment.
  "But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the thins which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you." Acts 26:16
 
 
 

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Mini Vacation by Susan L.

  H and I went for a drive yesterday then came back here for a barbeque supper. As I made potato salad for today's staff retreat, we chatted about our upcoming camping trip to Algonquin Park. It stirred up a lot of excitement... I can't wait!
  An all day staff retreat is being held at my co-worker's house. It's the one near where I used to live and did housekeeping for. Thankfully, the day looks like it's going to be absolutely lovely. We're going to spend some time putting together official job descriptions as part of the process to receive accreditation. The rest of the day will be spent just hanging around. Which is nice. We don't often get the opportunity to spend social time with the staff from the Richmond Hill Krasman centre.
  Tonight is my Bible study supper. I'm taking desert. Fresh fruit and, in keeping with my own love of sweets, an optional chocolate sauce for dipping. Mmmmm.
  By the end of the day, it'll feel like I've been on holiday for two days.
  As an aside, my artist's eye is on overdrive right now. I find myself spending time looking at light; how the sun looks when it touches trees and grass, and flowers. It's amazing how many colours are in a single clump of leaves. I just might take a small sketchbook today. It never hurts and I've another painting simmering in the works. In all skills, there's always room for growth. Not only that, there's something calming about taking the time to stop and smell the roses.
  "For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly." Ps 84:11
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Thundery Rumbly by Susan L.

  The sky has just turned dark as dusk. The rain is falling in a solid curtain. I guess it's a tattered remnant of the storms that blew through starting yesterday evening. The heavens were lit up as flash after flash of lightening pierced the sky. The thunder snarled and crackled throughout most of the night. It startled me awake up a couple of times when it was really loud and close.
    Pumpkin hid under the bed. There were a couple of thunder booms that made me feel like I should have joined him! I don't like thunderstorms either.
  The power occasionally flickered but thankfully didn't go out for any length of time. Standing in the pouring rain in the middle of the night while lightening snaps and flashes just to get my generator hooked up to my sump pump isn't my idea of fun. And I'd have to do it, the water rushing into the pump pit downstairs sounds like Niagara Falls! There would only be minutes before the water begins to creep over the basement floor. It makes me glad I got the generator out last weekend and ran it for a while to make sure it was still operational.
  Which reminds me, I should check out the back up pump to make sure it's working, too.
  I also need to fiddle around with the shed door. It blew open despite being locked. I think it's too far from the frame so the latch doesn't sit deep enough in its little hole. Easy enough fixed. It only needs a thin piece of something to hold the metal catch plate away from the frame and closer to the door. I figure the wood has shrunk a bit because this wasn't a problem when it was installed.
  Thank You, Lord, that I have shelter from the storms. Thank You, I have the skills and tools to look after life's little repairs. Thank You, because this gratitude extends far beyond open doors and running waters. Amen to that!
  "The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet." Nah 1:3
 
 
 

 
 

Sunday, 21 June 2015

A Great Day by Susan L.

  Sign in for the artists in yesterday's Battle of the Brushes was at one o'clock. It was disappointing to learn I was in the second heat and wasn't to paint until four. I went home for a couple of hours then returned to watch the other artists paint. The time quickly sped by and before I knew it, I took my place in front of an easel.
  The crowds watching vanished, Time slowed down. The paint flew over the canvas. Brush and sponge added layer and texture.
  Boy, it's fun to race the clock!
  The crowd voted, choosing two from the eight painters in the round to go to the finals. One of them was me!
  Waiting. Waiting and more waiting... The five o'clock final began. Again the noisy crowd faded into the mist and time froze as brush and canvas met.
  I am thankful for the creative times at the centre when people have sat and watched me work. I am thankful for the skills old and new, like using sponges, that enable me to put the images in my head onto paper or canvas. I am thankful for these art experiences.
  I didn't win but that's okay. My victory was in the doing, in the believing I could, in receiving encouragement and praise for my work. That is far beyond any earthly reward.
  "We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, of Your holy temple. By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us, O God of our salvation." Ps 65:4-5
 
 

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Brush Work by Susan L.

  A good whack of the creative process is experimentation. Tools, techniques, ideas, attempts and yes, failures are all part of learning. The monks who used to write out the Bible by hand and beautifully illustrate the scriptures intentionally made one mistake on each page. Perfection, they believed, was the domain of God, the greatest Creator.
  It's a good lesson for me. I am my own worst critic.
  I also tend to be impatient. Waiting for paint to dry is excruciatingly painful and more often than not, I end up rushing and having to re-do or touch up what I messed up.
  Working on large pieces is fairly new to me. The piano was done on a two by three foot piece of pressboard (way cheaper than canvas). In painting it, an appreciation for the sea sponge as a painting tool was discovered. It can quickly cover a large area in a very short time. Also, within each sponge is a variety of textures and therefore they generate many different effects in the paint. Its organic nature creates an organic feel. The same result would take hours if a brush was used.
  They are messy, though. I like messy. I like having paint on my hands almost as much as having dirt from the garden under my nails! (Remember to take gloves today to the Battle of the Brushes.) And I should probably get a clear plastic mat for under my drafting table.
  Lord, I lift up the competition to You. May what I paint glorify Your name.
  "To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me, Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed." Ps 25:1-2
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, 19 June 2015

Signed Up by Susan L.

  Tomorrow's Battle of the Brushes is on. It's going to be a long day though. Artists have to be on location at one but the painting doesn't start until two forty-five. There are two rounds and a final. The art is sold via silent auction with the proceeds going to the South Simcoe Arts Council. The minimum bid is ten dollars; an inexpensive way to get an original piece of art! Winners are selected by public vote. There's a small charge of two dollars per vote. It's outside but the weather is supposed to be nice, if a bit hot. If you have nothing to do on Saturday, the battle takes place near the farmer's market off of Victoria St in Alliston by the store Details. Come cheer me on!
  I am excited about it and a bit nervous. I've had some time to think about what to do and to paint a couple of small, practice canvases with ideas while hanging out at the centre. It also helped me decide which painting tools I'll need.
  Meanwhile, and glad for the distraction, I can build the frame to support the board for a larger and much slower creation here in my own studio area.
  To God be the glory!
  "Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!" Ps 27:14
 
 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Bits and Peaces by Susan L.

  Haunting shadows of a falling dream. Waking up during the night: two, five, seven. It's become the norm. Is it because of the med changes? Or age?
  The lawn needs mowing but the dew is too heavy this morning. Good sign...no rain today. It'll have to be later. Garden weed control is severely lacking.
  My co-worker may have broken her foot. (I pray not!) Will have to work more hours?
  Saturday paint competition sign up. What to paint. Stomach in knots about it. Maybe it isn't a good idea to take part.
  How to build a frame to support new board for new painting. Excited by it. Repaint frame for piano picture, green too wishy-washy...black? Should work.
  What's the date anyways?
  I can feel the tension in my shoulders and neck building.
  The brain hamsters are going a gazillion miles an hour. Argh! Come on, brain, concentrate!
  And a wave of teary-eyed gratitude and peace sweeps over me. The dream about falling? I remember now, the Lord caught me in His big, strong arms before I hit the ground. I was awake enough to feel myself utterly relax in the blanket of His peace then feel myself fall again. Only this time it was into a deep, restful sleep.
  Everything else is just a distraction, an attempt to get me to forget exactly Who is in charge. It's an attempt to get me to forget Who will be my inspiration, my Muse, my Strength, my Hope, my Life and my Love...in all things! That means in everything from lawn cutting to creative expressions. It's an attempt to build doubt and insecurity in the gifts the Lord has blessed me with.
  This avalanche of worries is the work of the thief of thieves.
  I say before the Lord, this robber has no place here. Amen!
  "Give ear and hear my voice, listen and hear my speech. Does the plowman keep plowing all day to sow? Does he keep turning his soil and breaking the clods? When he has leveled its surface, does he not sow the black cumin, and scatter the cumin, plant the wheat in rows, the barley in the appointed place, and the spelt in its place?" Is 28:23-25
 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Song Birds by Susan L.

  The numbers of these little birds is decreasing at an alarming rate. Shrinking habitat and the imported Starling are taking a toll on their ability to find suitable nesting sites. It pleased me to see a pair of rather non-descript brown birds with voices that would suit an opera checking out my birdhouse. I watched the pair twitter a discussion of it's qualities, or perhaps it's shortcomings, like a pair of newlyweds discussing their first home. I've only the one that hangs from the sawn off hydro pole holding one end of my clothesline up. It was made with a hole too small for Starlings. It hosted a pair of Chick-a-dees last year.
  Years ago I came across a Song Sparrow nest. It was hidden on the ground in a patch of long grass. I smiled because it had been carefully lined with long horse hair. Each tail strand had been meticulously placed around the inside walls. I was able to identify which of my horses had contributed to this tiny cup that helped bring new life into this world.
  There was quite the relationship between the farm animals and the birds. Chicken and duck feathers were fought over as premium nesting material. I could tell when the wild birds were done nesting because the lawn would stay littered with feathers from the domestic, free range birds.
  Barn swallows always had plenty to eat because the cows, sheep and goats created an aroma extremely attractive to flies. On a good year, they'd raise three sets of four chicks in their mud nests attached to the ceiling beams of the lower barn.
  With the change of agriculture into the massive operations of factory farms, the bird friendly environment of small farms is becoming a curiosity to be read about in the history books. The wooden bank barns are slowly rotting away, empty of the life they need to keep them standing. Sadly, it's simply because a small farm is not financially viable in today's market.
  I think I need to make a few more bird houses...
  "Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch." Gen 6:14
 

Sunday, 14 June 2015

A Wondering Why by Susan L.

  I told a friend of mine I would do a painting for her several months ago. It didn't happen and my friend is understandably hurt by the broken promise. Never in a million years do I wish to inflict hurt on someone and I feel badly about it all.
  I was wondering why, what stopped me from doing as I had promised? This isn't an attempt to justify my lack of action but an examination into what held me back; an opportunity to hold up the issues to the light. Lord, I seek Your wisdom and the insight of the Holy Spirit.
  Sadly, for myself, broken promises have happened on a regular basis. I no longer expect anyone to keep their word. It surprises me when someone follows through. There's a poor lesson learned that doing what you said you would do is a matter of choice. Which it isn't. Forgive me Lord for believing it was.
  This is also an issue of personal worth. I may not be worthy of kept promises but my friend sure is. Forgive me, Lord, for behaving otherwise, for ignoring their value and just how important they are to me as a beloved friend who deserves better.
  Fear. That black, swirling, snarling monster which is determined to steal confidence in my own  abilities. I can hear the echoes of the questions that have tormented me for months...Would it be good enough? How should I tackle it? What if I make a mistake? What if...what if...to the point of paralysis and overwhelm.
  Fear serves the devil's agenda. I will NOT allow him to hold me back any longer.
  Echoes of past criticisms chew away at the understanding that I am a competent artist. Their sole purpose is to feed the fear. Lord, I forgive those who have uttered words that have helped the fear grow into a perpetual companion.
  I will do as I promised. For a whole lot of reasons but mostly because I am so sorry to have done harm. And the painting will be beautiful.
  "But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one." Mat 5:37
 

 

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Art Attack by Susan L.

  In true Susan fashion, I'm on a burst of singular purpose. This time it's painting. There's another battle of the brushes coming up next weekend here in town which I thought I'd like to do. This one is to raise funds for the local Simcoe Arts Council. It would be a bit harder because only red, blue, yellow, black and white are provided along with the canvas. We only need to bring our painting tools.  
  So what would I take? A pallet to mix colours, a couple of brushes and pallet knives and a sea sponge. The sponges are great for painting impressionistic grass, flowers and leaves and can cover a big space in a short time. I'll need paper towel or rags as well. Water is provided.
  The paintings are auctioned off but this time, the artists don't get anything of that. Which is okay, it's for a good cause and for me, a whole lot of fun!
  It gives me a bit more time to think about what to paint and there's several ideas rolling around in my head. Pre-planning might not even indicate what I'll end up creating anyways. I'll leave the final decision up to the Lord and trust in His inspiration.
  In the meantime, I offered to build a couple of flower boxes for a friend and a shoe rack for the centre. That'll be today's task.
  "Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!" Ps 107:31
 
  
 

Friday, 12 June 2015

Accomplishments by Susan L.

  Three days of solid work only slowed by meals and thunderstorms enabled my son and I to get two lower cabinets and the shelving units for above built and installed. I am thankful for having the right tools which made the job much easier. He and his wife are very pleased with the results so far. There is still a bit of fancy trim to install, the screws and nails need wood filler, then all of it needs painting after a sanding. I can't wait to see it done!
  My daughter-in-law is an accomplished artist. On Wednesday she took part in an art battle as part of a fund raiser. Artists are provided with a heavy bodied acrylic paint and a canvas. They have twenty minutes to produce a work of art. Those who gathered to watch voted on their favorite. The winner has the opportunity to go to Ottawa for the National Art Battle and if they win that, on to the Internationals. The paintings were auctioned off with fifty percent of the proceeds going to the artist.
  My daughter-in-law made it to the finals. A wonderful success.
  The second round was short a couple of artists who hadn't shown so they offered the two wild card spots to anyone in the crown who might like a shot. In a rare moment of: Yes! I can do this! I volunteered. My daughter-in-law lent me a brush and pallet knife.
  The countdown began and with the command to start painting, I nearly knocked my easel over with the first brush stroke. I've never worked on one. My drafting table is much more sturdy!
  Time stopped, the noise of loud music and the crowd disappeared as my focus honed in on the image I'd chosen. The familiar shores and coloured granites of the Georgian Bay area quickly took shape as I mixed and slathered the paint, using the thick medium to carve the rocks onto the canvas.
  After spending so much time building cabinets with precise measurements and making sure everything was assembled square and true, the free-for-all of painting was like a release!
  I didn't make it to the finals but received a lot of compliments. And I made twenty-five dollars for myself and the fundraiser!
  "For the seed shall be prosperous. The vine shall give its fruit. The ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew." Zech 8:12
 

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Busy Week Ahead by Susan L.

  My son and his wife want to do a built in wall unit in their living room. I'll be heading down to their place on Tuesday for a few days with power tools in hand. Oh, how I love a project! They get the idea juices flowing.
  On Friday, I did a small painting as a plan for a bigger one to hang on the wall behind my couch. Initially the image was a fairly graphic rendition of birch trees but when I started, it left me rather unimpressed. Instead, it's a baby grand piano in an impressionistic garden. Small dots of colour are flowing out of the instrument like flowers. I might have to start again, though. The piano is a bit small for the size of the board. And as I was typing, the idea to decoupage some old music to the background might look kind of cool as well.
  So I'll start again.
  "A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul." Prov 13:19

Friday, 5 June 2015

Duck Race by Susan L.

  One of the local service groups is hosting a Duck Race and Family Fun Day tomorrow to raise money for park improvements. They've asked vendors to set up tables with activities for children. The Krasman is taking part so tomorrow morning I'll be heading into town for another wonderful opportunity to get our name into the community.
  I drew a couple of duck themed colouring pages. One is for younger children and a more complicated image for the older kids. It's supposed to be a nice day so we're providing pencil crayons to colour with because it's a good bet that crayons would melt in the sun. I'm also going armed with flyers outlining some of our services.
  My own duck collection is going to be used to decorate the table as well. I even picked up a new one yesterday, purple with white polka dots and a rubber duck watering can I had my eyes on for a while. The grandchildren will have a blast playing with them in the pool when they come to visit.
  Who am I trying to fool. They're for me! Everyone needs a bit of whimsy in their lives.
  "But the Lord was my support. He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me." 2 Sam 22:19-20

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Truth and Reconciliation by Susan L.

  I celebrate the courage of the hundreds of Aboriginal men and women who have come forth to share their stories of horrific abuse and neglect at the hands of those running the Canadian Residential Schools. It's a black mark against every Canadian that so many children were forcibly removed from their homes over far too many decades beginning in 1876. They would never see their families again. The last one was closed in 1996 (!).
  Roughly 150,000, or 30%, of Aboriginal children were placed in these schools run by nuns and priests. These helpless little ones were subjected to grave and criminal maltreatment.
  The statistics are shocking. One in twenty-five would die from malnutrition, disease, and other mysterious reasons. The death rate for soldiers in WWI was one in twenty-six. Children as young as five were committing suicide to escape the physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse. They were buried in unmarked graves. Their families never knew what happened to them. Such poor records were kept, I believe these statistics may fall short of the reality.
  It was an attempt to assimilate aboriginal children into European ways, to wipe out every last trace of their own rich cultural heritage and language. The phrase "cultural genocide" has been used.
  The Truth and Reconciliation report has opened the door so healing can begin. It has taken six years and countless testimonies from the men and women who survived to draw up ninety-five recommendations. I pray part of those will bring the perpetrators before the courts to stand trial for their atrocities and their silence.
  But then, every Canadian who knew about them and turned a blind eye is just as guilty. Myself included. May God forgive me.
  "Moreover the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days. In the day that the Lord binds up the bruise of His people and heals the stroke of their wound." Is 30:26

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Song by Susan L.

  After I'd done Sunday's blog, I went to church which was held in a barn with a pot luck lunch and our AGM meeting afterwards. It was unseasonably cold and the icy wind blew through the gaps in the wood siding. It's a good thing I took gloves and layered plenty of clothes.
  It was interesting being in an old, wooden barn again. Plenty of memories swept over me, some good ones and many which were not so good. Not wanting them to overwhelm this opportunity to make some new memories, I allowed myself to be distracted by studying the building.
  Hand hewn, massive timbers were supported by a network of smaller braces and cross pieces. Every single one had been carefully trimmed and fitted into just as carefully cut slots. Adze, hammer, chisel, hand saw and hand drill would have been all that was used. Power tools had yet to evolve.
  Ropes, pullies and brute strength would have maneuvered them into place. Prefab sections put into place by a crane are also a thing of the future. No nails were used in assembling the framework. Those were reserved to nail the floorboards and wood siding in place. Gravity holds it all together.
  The major beams were made from a single tree and spanned the thirty foot width of the barn. Some of the floorboards were at least twenty inches wide, two inches thick and just as long as the beams. I suppose when it was built there was a lumber mill nearby that had cut the floor boards. The marks of the huge blade were still visible.
  The labour, the meticulous fitting of each piece, bespoke of amazing craftsmanship. I wonder if any of the men who built it would have known that one day, it would serve as a church.
  "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." Eph 1:3