Followers

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dust on the Bible


I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.


Psalm 77:12 (NIV)


I'm tired tonight. Well, technically it is morning as it is almost 1:00 a.m.

I am happy to report that after all the shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc. mom and I are finally making progress on other tasks.

As many of you know I've got to find a new place for mom to live and so we are preparing as best we can as well as looking for a new apartment or senior's residence. I had a call back from one apartment today but was unable to make the connection. Then I accidentally erased the stored numbers in the phone! So now I'll have to hunt down a local paper and see if the ad is still there. Mom isn't ready to move yet, we are just checking out real possibilities that will enable her to live a more independent lifestyle than currently so we are making a shortlist if you will of appropriate places.

Since I wrote my last blog entry I have been busy. The cable man was here today to provide a better cable link as mom has been missing half of the channels she buys. I guess the problem was an insufficient cable connection so that has now been remedied. I also ordered another 6 or so channels for mom so she will have something better to watch after I go home. Now she will get to watch family shows like Reba re-runs and country music shows as well as all the home and garden shows and have access to CNN news.

In the living room, I dusted furniture and generally straightened things out. I dusted and polished the living room shelves, the television, other electronic equipment and armoires. After dinner, mom and I made haste for the master bedroom where we sorted through a few baskets of clothing and dusted all the laundry baskets, tables and various sundry items. To help mom keep her focus on the work, I played a Kitty Wells gospel CD. I also played an old Carter family album later remastered for the CD. When mom was a young woman, Kitty Wells was her favourite singer and she has also loved the Carter Family so these tunes were just the right thing to put her in a happy mood and help spur her on to sorting. For years, Kitty Wells held the title, the Queen of Country Music and her sound is pure and clear. If you haven't listened to her I would recommend her album called "Dust on the Bible". Here are the words to the song of the same name and a picture of the young Miss Kitty.

"Dust on the Bible"
I went into a home one day just to see some friends of mine
Of all their books and magazines, not a Bible could I find.

I asked them for the Bible. When they brought it, what a shame!
For the dust was covered o'er it, not a fingerprint was plain.

Chorus
Dust on the Bible, dust on the Holy Word
The words of all the prophets, and the sayings of our Lord.
Of all the other books you'll find, there's none salvation holds
Get the dust off the Bible and redeem your poor soul.
Oh, you can read your magazines of love and tragic things
But not one word of Bible verse, not a scripture do you know.
When it is the very truth, and it's contents good for you.
But it's dust is covered o'er it
And it's sure to doom your poor soul.

Chorus
Dust on the Bible, dust on the Holy Word;
The word of all the prophets, and the sayings of our Lord.
Of all the other books you'll find, there's none salvation holds
Get the dust off the Bible and redeem your poor soul.

Oh, if you have a friend you'd like to help along life's way
Just tell him that the Good Book shows a mortal how to pray
The best advice to give him that will make his burdens light
Is to dust the family bible trades the wrong way for the right

Chorus
Dust on the Bible, dust on the Holy Word
The word of all the prophets, and the sayings of our Lord.
Of all the other books you'll find, there's none salvation holds.
Get the dust off the Bible and redeem your poor soul.


We also managed to sort through a few tubs of clothing and decide what to giveaway and what to keep. I then sorted through the bed linens and transferred what she will keep from a laundry basket to a nice wicker basket which I had originally purchased for clean bath towels but has now served several useful purposes. Mom can't sit and work for long but we managed to put together a total of 4 giveaway bags so I feel like we are making some progress at last. Tomorrow, I hope we can sort some of her personal papers..about 2 big garbage bags full and one large leather electrolux vacuum cleaner storage box. I also have to do all my laundry as I am running out of clean clothes. I have cooked some beef brisket tonight so we have something ready to eat tomorrow and I won't have to spend as much time in food preparation.

The rest of the week we will be busy as my niece will visit Thursday and the nurse attends at the apartment on Friday to provide some much needed medical attention to mom. That means any further sorting will need to be accomplished Thursday and Friday evenings as well as the weekend.

Kamloops is a very dry and hot city. Consequently, it is very dusty and is surrounded by hills of dust with little vegetation on them.

The song "Dust on the Bible" seemed very appropriate to listen to for all the dusting I was doing. It was a great reminder not to take God's Word lightly.

~~~
This book of the law shall not depart out of they mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous and then shalt thou have good success.

Joshua 1:8

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bears and Giants

One of my main tasks here at mom's is to shop for daily and weekly food needs. I often walk several blocks to the nearest food store and take my recycling bags for whatever I buy and try to catch the city bus home.

Today it was a beautiful and glorious day. Not so hot like we have been having all summer and now into the Fall. I was grateful for the respite from the heat and took some time to savour the scenery along the way. Let me share some of the views I had on my short walk.

[Beautiful sun peeking through the trees]

[It is such a glorious day and a sky to match]

[Strolling along the sidewalk on to my destination]

[Roadside flora ~a hint of yellow in a sea of green]

[Pine branches]

[More roadside flora]

[A lovely hint of orange]

In addition to all the lovely flora I saw today, it seems there was a bear theme going on.

First, I came upon this lovely carving of a bear looking for honey ~


Next,

I came upon this wonderful panda bear eating his bamboo leaves ~



I thought the bears were cute and it prompted me to see what the Bible has to say about bears. I found this little story about bears in bible tools for teaching children about the animals in scripture.

The bear loves its young ones more than almost any other animal does, as this little story will show you.

A bear with two cubs or young ones once came over the ice near to a ship where the sailors had just killed a large animal. The bears were very hungry, and the sailors threw over some pieces of flesh for them; the old bear would tear them up, giving most of the meat to the cubs, and keeping but little for herself. Presently some one in the ship cruelly shot both the young ones. Then their mother was full of sorrow. She had been hurt herself by the guns, but she crawled along to her cubs, put her paw upon them, and tried to have them get up; and when she found that they did not move, she went a few steps off, and then looked back with a sad, moaning noise, as though she expected them to get up and follow her.

When she saw that all her efforts were useless, she walked around them several times, turned towards the vessel with a terrible growl for she was angry enough to tear in pieces the men who had killed her young. Then she lay down between her cubs and died. This story helps give meaning and understanding of the following scriptures from the books of Samuel and Hosea:

"For thou knowest thy father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her whelps (or cubs) in the field."

2 Samuel 17: 8

-and this also,

"I will meet them as a bear bereaved of her whelps."

Hosea 13:8


Verses such as these show that the writers of the Bible were acquainted with the habits of different animals and we never find any mistakes in what they say about them. Solomon says in his Proverbs, "As a roaring lion and a ranging bear, so is a wicked ruler over the poor people."
When young David was trying to persuade King Saul to let him go and fight with the great giant Goliath, Saul thought he was too young, and not strong enough.

David told Saul,

"Thy servant was keeping his father's sheep, and there came a lion and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock, and thy servant slew both the lion and the bear." He said also, "The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine."

You see why David was not afraid to meet the giant. It was not because he felt strong of himself, but he believed that God would be near to help him.

After reading these scriptures and stories it gave me a better understanding of the love bears have for their young ones. I often see them playing and caring for their cubs on television documentaries. I also know from living in a country of bountiful wildlife that bears can be very ferocious animals, yet young David was able to slay them through the help of God.

It reminded me how the bear can be a symbol of the heavy challenges and burdens we face, yet with God we can slay the bears and overcome the challenges in our own lives. God will deliver us and give us strength and He is ever near to help us.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Plans


Hi friends,

I hope you have all been doing well the past week or so that I have been away. Some of you know I am away at mom's trying to help her. I cook, do some light cleaning and shopping as needed. The real reason I am here is to help her sort her personal belongings and try to figure out what to give away, what to keep and what to pack as mom needs to move soon.

She lives in an apartment building that is difficult for wheelchair accessibility. She has lived in this difficult situation for some time now and has been after me to help but with work and sickness, I haven't had the kind of time that is really required. Now I am finally a bit "free" to assist her for more than a few days.

I haven't actually gotten started on the real sorting as there has been so much day to day stuff to get caught up on. The things that most of us can do ourselves; pay bills, buy daily food needs, cook, do dishes, wash floors, shop for household and personal items. These are the things that we often are not too fond of doing but when you can no longer do them, you surely wish you could!


Today (Saturday), we were supposed to start on mom's bedroom by putting away and sorting clothing but we were a bit lazy. Instead, we listened to some old George Jones tunes, I made some head cheese sandwiches and salad for lunch, simmered a chicken rice soup in the slow cooker for dinner & made a dark chocolate cake with chocolate frosting in the microwave (mom has no kitchen oven), cleaned and chopped red peppers, celery, carrots & turnips for juicing tomorrow and washed oodles of dishes.

Late tonight, after scanning the local paper for apartment rentals & making enquiries for senior care attendant services, I started dusting a seldom used bookcase. Oh my! There was so much dust and mom has so many allergies, especially to dust. I set about wiping down the shelves and all the books. It is now almost 3:00 a.m and I think it is more than past time for sleep. I will leave you with a few pictures of the "dust bunny free" books.

In a day or two, we plan to clean and sort all the clothing in the master bedroom and then begin sorting all the books and videos in the living room and kitchen. At the same time, I must try to find out what housing options are available and I also have some coming business of my own in Vancouver and meetings here where mom lives to sort out my niece's housing needs.

In all of these things, I trust and lean on the Lord God, the maker of Heaven and Earth. Otherwise, I would worry and fret. The plans of loved ones are riding a lot on my shoulders and I can plan and execute to the best of my ability. But most importantly, I must not forget to pray and lean on God in all things; for direction, wisdom and guidance. It has also been a great help to get the prayers of friends and supporters when times are particularly challenging. I am grateful for those that always to stand with me in prayer.
They are a true treasure.


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.
Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, September 11, 2009

Purls of Love

Children are important to God.

I love children but I've never had any of my own. I guess this means I have more love to share with children everywhere.

I always thought I'd have children but it was never the right time so it never happened. Recent events and surgeries now make it impossible from a human perspective for me to have children. For awhile it made me sad, but it didn't take too long to realize that this isn't a hardship. I can love the children that God created. There are so many that need our love and care. There are so many needy children in the world who need our love. Many of them are right here in North America, but there are also countless others across the waters, in places like India, Asia & Africa.

God has given me a burden for the children of Africa. He gave me this burden when I was a young child who had yet to see much beyond the backyard. From as long as I can remember I've had a heart for these children and I could only dream of far distant places like Africa. Back then I wanted to be a missionary and after years of the dream lying seemingly dormant, it seems God is now granting me this wish. Perhaps now it is God's timing for the vision to be fulfilled. I am ready to do as He asks.

[Children of Kericho, Kenya]

My specific leading has been a great burden to help orphans and widows in Kericho, Kenya. I'm privileged to be a part of what they are trying to do in a number of small ways, one of which I would like to tell you about now. Before I do that I want to share what a fellow blogger, Tom Davis had to share about why orphans are important to God. He puts it far better than I could ever hope to do.

  1. God calls Himself the Father of the fatherless.
  • Psalm 68:5, “A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, is God in His holy habitation.”


  1. God considers spiritual service the purest when His people are taking care of orphans. (and) A religion that does not care for orphans is no religion at all.
  • James 1:27, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.”


  1. God’s people are commanded to care for orphans. To see an orphan afflicted, and to turn a deaf ear, is sin, even rebellion.
  • Exodus 22:22, “You shall not afflict any widow or orphan.”
  • Isaiah 1:17, “Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, plead for the widow.”
  • Isaiah 1:23, “Your rulers are rebellious, and companions of thieves; everyone loves bribes, and follows after rewards. They do not defend the fatherless.”


  1. We can be the hands and love of Christ Himself by providing practical care.
  • Deuteronomy 10:18, “He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.”
  • Psalm 10:14, “But You, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless.”
  • Matthew 18:5, “Whoever receives a child in My name, receives Me.”
  • Matthew 25: 45, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of the least of these, you did it unto Me.”


  1. Orphans are to be taken care of with the same honor and provision as a Pastor or Priest.
  • Deuteronomy 14:28-30, “The Levite (priest), because he has not portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.”


  1. A portion of all that we possess is sacred and belongs to the orphan.
  • Deuteronomy 26:12-14, “You shall say before the Lord your God, ‘I have removed the sacred portion from my house, and also have given it to the Levite and the alien, the orphan and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed or forgotten any of Your commandments.”

One of my contributions, is to try to raise awareness of the work and the needs in the village. Consequently, I have developed a modest web site and a weblog for the work of Missions of Hope. See the website here and the weblog here

Pastor Jonah of Kericho provides the photos and updates and I do the design, editing and uploading. We would love to have you visit the Missions of Hope and see how you might also be inspired to help. Now let me tell you about an exciting small project I've begun to help the villagers. It is so delightful how this project came together.

It is a small knitting project to make sweaters, hats and scarves for the orphan children & small village of Kericho, Kenya. The children own very little in the way of clothing and bedding. Often they must sleep on the hard floor with no covers. I thought how wonderful if we could provide a small comfort to them to keep them warm and let them know that someone cares.

The other day I put the idea to a friend of mine in Missouri if she would be interested in making some hand knit sweaters for the children. She said "yes"! I offered to purchase some yarn for her and to send what I could by mail. The very next day (yesterday) I found a wonderful bargain on wool so I snapped up a number of skeins.

Here are some lovely pastel colours

Here are some lovely black and gray shades

Here are the ever faithful natural colours

And here are some white skeins for accent pieces.

I am so pleased with what I found. In Kenya in the village, it is best to have darker or neutral colours that won't show dirt so quickly so these colours are just right. I also have some baby blues, pinks and yellows to begin crocheting some small blankets.

Maybe you have some talents and skills you could share with the children and women? Things like quilt making or making small clothes for the children. Perhaps you would like to donate Bibles, or books, or perhaps you are travelling to Kenya and want to donate something directly? If you are feeling inspired or motivated, please let me know.

In closing friends, let me say that I won't be posting for awhile now as I will be travelling and won't have that much time to access the computer. In the meantime, I pray you will pray and consider if you can help. Please drop me a comment or an email if you want to help out and let me know where I can reach you back!

Take care now til we meet again dear reader. Big hugs

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Did you know that 2009 is the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)?

[One of Pastor Jonah's "adopted sons", Missions of Hope]

Information From UNICEF

The Convention is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rightscivil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. In 1989, world leaders decided that children needed a special convention just for them because people under 18 years old often need special care and protection that adults do not. The leaders also wanted to make sure that the world recognized that children have human rights too.

The Convention sets out these rights in 54 articles and two Optional Protocols. It spells out the basic human rights that children everywhere have: the right to survival; to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life. The four core principles of the Convention are non-discrimination; devotion to the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival and development; and respect for the views of the child. Every right spelled out in the Convention is inherent to the human dignity and harmonious development of every child. The Convention protects children's rights by setting standards in health care; education; and legal, civil and social services. Read the full text of the CRC here

20 years of the CRC

Poliana da Silva, 7, smiles as she embraces her brother, Gabriel, 4, outside their home in a slum area on the outskirts of the city of Olinda, in the north-eastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco.

1989-2009:

Convention brings progress on child rights, but challenges remain
By Dan Seymour

In 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child became the first legally binding international convention to affirm human rights for all children. While great progress has been made on child rights in the past 20 years, much work remains to be done. Dan Seymour, Chief of the Gender and Rights Unit of UNICEF’s Policy and Practice Division, offers his assessment.

NEW YORK, USA, 30 June 2009 – The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) represents a major milestone in the historic effort to achieve a world fit for children. As a binding treaty of international law, it codifies principles that Member States of the United Nations agreed to be universal – for all children, in all countries and cultures, at all times and without exception, simply through the fact of their being born into the human family.

The treaty has inspired changes in laws to better protect children, altered the way international organizations see their work for children, and supported an agenda to better protect children in situations of armed conflict.

Worldwide impact

In every region of the world, we find numerous examples of the CRC’s impact on law and practice. In 1990, Brazil followed ratification of the Convention with a new Statute of the Child and Adolescent based on its principles. Burkina Faso created a Children’s Parliament to review proposed legislation, in response to the principle of participation set forth by the Convention.

The CRC was the first international convention to be ratified by South Africa, leading to changes such as the prohibition of corporal punishment and development of a separate juvenile justice system. The Russian Federation also set up juvenile and family courts in response to the CRC, while Morocco established a National Institute to Monitor Children Rights.

Finland took a number of new measures for children inspired by the Convention, such as a plan for early childhood education and care, a curriculum for the comprehensive school, quality recommendations for school health care, and an action plan against poverty and social exclusion.

And Eritrea issued its Transitional Penal Code, with penalties for parents or guardians who neglect, abuse or abandon their children.

Challenges ahead

This wide acceptance of the CRC can give the misleading impression that it is neither challenging nor new. Yet the very idea that children are the holders of rights is far from universally recognized. Too many children are considered to be the property of adults, and are subjected to various forms of abuse and exploitation.

The recognition that children have a right to a say in decisions affecting them, articulated in Article 12, is not only disrespected on a regular basis; its very legitimacy is questioned by many.

Nor can we claim that we live in a world where children's best interests are the primary consideration in all decisions affecting them – as demanded by Article 3 of the Convention. In fact, the contrary is evidenced by the way the humankind allocates its resources, the limited attention it gives to ensuring the best for its children, the way it conducts its wars.

Foundation for change

Like all powerful ideas, the CRC reflects a demand for deep and profound change in the way the world treats its children.

That the world fails to respect the rights of its children – even to deny that children have rights – is clear in the alarming numbers of children who die of preventable causes, who do not attend school or attend a school that cannot offer them a decent education, who are left abandoned when their parents succumb to AIDS, or who are subjected to violence, exploitation and abuse against which they are unable to protect themselves.

We cannot claim that the Convention has achieved what needs to be achieved. Rather, it has provided all of us with an essential foundation to play our part in ch

Power of the Convention

Effecting that change requires us to use the CRC in its fullest sense, and to take advantage of its three fundamental strengths.

• First, it is a legal instrument, defining unequivocally the responsibilities of governments to children within their jurisdiction

• Second, it is a framework for the duties borne by different actors at different levels of society to respond to the rights of children, and it helps us understand the knowledge, skills, resources or authority needed to fulfil those duties

• Third, it is an ethical statement, both reflecting and building upon core human values about our commitment to collectively provide the world’s children with the best we have to give.

This 20th anniversary of the CRC reminds us, most of all, of what we have left to do. The Convention demands a revolution that places children at the heart of human development – not only because this offers a strong return on our investment (although it does) nor because the vulnerability of childhood calls upon our compassion (although it should), but rather for a more fundamental reason: because it is their right.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tweety Bird

Friendship isn't about who you have known the longest.
...but about who came and never left your side.


Proverbs 18:24
. . . there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.


NOTE: I am not the owner of these photos. A friend sent them to me and I am not sure who took them. I had to share them so you could see the miracle of friendship/love with your own eyes. God bless xoxo

Friday, September 4, 2009

School Opens Again for the New Year

Hello,

Are you ready to help? Even if you are not here is the chance. With just $9 you will be able to buy supplies for orphans as they go to school next week. Maybe you are wondering what this would buy? Books, pens, pencils, jelly, soap and the list goes on.


I was recently able to supply about 15 orphans with all the needs for this coming school opening. (The pictures are not exhaustive). Please open your hearts to these children. There are still many more in need. If you can help, please let me know! God bless you.

You can send funds via Pay Pal to kerichojoy[at]gmail[dot]com or kerichojoy[@]gmail[.]com Sorry to put the address in this form but that is to protect against spammers (at least that is what I'm told). If you can't decipher it please click "view my profile" in the right hand column and you will see the email address. Alternatively, you can learn more about other sending options here at www.jonahsmissions.blogspot.com (see column on the right side of the page).


A family...led by Mercy (with white top). She is training to be a pharmacist at Mount Kenya University

We are still praying for her needs. She is supposed to go to university next week

Her brother

Happy with the gift

Excitement

Make other orphans like this dear one, smile.

* All photos courtesy of Pastor Jonah

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Mother's Heart


As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all [men], especially
unto them who are of the household of faith.

Galatians 6:10

Dear friends, I have a request for you. The woman you see in the snapshot above is a woman who recently went to my friend's church offices in Kenya. Her son is in medical school and studying in Nairobi. The mother needs urgent help to meet his tuition fees of $1500. 00 US as school term has already begun.

She has exhausted all avenues of possible income generation. She has tried her best to ask people to help her raise money for her son and so far she has been able to raise $300 through a Harambee (fundraiser). But this is not enough. Her son is in 2nd year university (sophomore). She has sold all she has: chickens, cows, goats etc. She has tried her best. She didn't know what else to do so she went to the church asking for help. They could not do much, but gave her a lift to town and Pastor Jonah gave her a little of what he had. Hearts are heavy for her need.

Pastor Jonah is letting some people know of her need to see who might be able to help financially and also in prayer. I am sending directly to my friends but also decided to post it here. If you can help, any amount is accepted and appreciated. Please leave me a comment here if you wish to help this woman. If you know someone who might help, please feel free to send this post to them. God bless you for your help.

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