Cabin Fever

Snowmaggedon struck NL a month ago. The army came to dig us out. Streets have been icy, and snowbanks

are high, so not much visiting has been going on.

We have cabin fever, that claustrophobic feeling of having been inside for too long!

This requires creativity to cope with. Yesterday I did a sociological study of our town’s telephone directory (phone book). Of approximately 3,200 residents, there are 36 main surnames listed. 72 listings are listed for the name Abbott, then come a bunch of Butlers, and the Waye clan comes near the end. Most residents are inter-related somehow.

Irish Catholic residents settled certain communities, while English Protestants formed other towns.

When we moved here we found only a handful of practising Catholics, but no matter, I have been church visiting.

Perhaps I will do a sociological study on that too.

Great creativity is required for sufferers of cabin fever.

The Battle

Have you ever felt discouraged, and considered stopping your blog ? Discouragement is one of the favourite tactics of ‘The Enemy’. We all need to be wary of discouragement, and consider its possible source.

I was naive when I started this blog. I thought that all Christians would be supportive of moving closer to Christian Unity. This is not the case ! The people who are most in opposition to Unity are certain Christians themselves, as I have discovered, while blogging.

This should not surprise us. The Lord tells us to always expect the unexpected.

Shaken by some of the nasty remarks against Christian Unity which I received, I temporarily stopped blogging.

There is a spiritual battle going on, as we are told in Ephesians 6, and sometimes we are reminded of this, so we can keep our spiritual armour on.

I have felt the Holy Spirit at a Pentecostal church which served red Kool-Aid and crackers for communion. He was just as present at a Mass I attended in St. Peter’s Square where a crowd of 60,000 worshippers from around the world gathered.

The photo is of the sleeve of my army jacket which I wear while walking around our rural outport. I bought it second-hand, but it originally belonged to a real Canadian soldier, about my size.

May the Lord strengthen all his soldiers.

Lessons From A Chicken Sandwich

Do you sometimes eat to comfort yourself when you are stressed ?

I found myself in the kitchen having a chicken sandwich this morning at 1:00 a.m. I was over-eating, because earlier in the day I had done something that I never thought I would do – I was arguing on WordPress!

What prompted this was a blog post I read that was ridiculing rosary beads. The post, of course, was designed with the purpose of ‘ Catholic Bashing ‘, something sinful, that grieves the heart of God deeply.

One fellow Christian called me his ‘enemy’ Yes, it was not nice.

I have spent a year blogging with the purpose of encouraging Christian Unity. Most Christian bloggers I have interacted with have been marvelously supportive. I, who have no church home at the moment, have received tremendous encouragement from reading your posts. Thank – you!

I will close this blog site now, with thanks to everyone who has read and commented on the posts.

May God richly bless you, and may we work together as brothers and sisters in the Lord.

When Music Hurts

Do you consider yourself to be an assertive person ? Being assertive means that we are confident in speaking up for our rights and needs, without trampling on the rights and needs of others.

I am usually assertive, but the following situation rendered me as passive as a mouse.

The little church where I was very happy , had no musical instruments except human voices, which God considers to be the most sacred of all instruments.

Our voices blended together beautifully, showing our unity in the Lord, until the day a gentleman in the church decided that we needed an organ. He purchased one at a garage sale for only twenty dollars ! It was a bargain, because the volume control was broken, and thus it made only very loud sounds. The ‘music man’ also decided to become our organist, although he could not read music, but had memorized a few hymns that he thought would suffice.

The first time the new musician played the organ I knew I was in trouble. It was loud !

I discreetly pulled my decibel meter, which is an app. on my telephone, from my purse , and found that the volume was at 78 decibels. ( hearing damage can occur at 80 decibels). I thought of leaving the church, but didn’t want to disrupt others. So I took out my custom made Bernafon hearing protectors, and put those in my ears, but the loudness was still irritating. Finally, in desperation , I leaned over the pew in front of me and covered my ears.

Mr. Music Man also played in a key that was too high for the singers, and thus our beautiful happy praises stopped.

If I had been assertive, I would have told our musician that the broken organ was irritating. I could also have gently , but firmly expressed my concern to the pastor.

Instead, I left the church.

The Lord is happy when we volunteer at our local churches, but he asks that we consider carefully if we are qualified for the positions we choose to fill.

I wish that I had spoken up, instead of leaving the little church. The musician continues to play the broken organ.

What Are Those Chains ?

Are the people where you live “curious” ? Rural Newfoundlanders are very curious, and not shy about asking you things.

I was sitting in the waiting room of my kind dental hygienist.

I noticed a lady sitting nearby who was looking intently at the beads I held in my hands. Finally she asked me what those “chains” were. I explained that these were Christian rosary beads which I often hold when I am praying . She seemed interested. She told me that her grandmother had had some similar beads but she did not understand what they were.

I told her that my beads are made of Swarovski crystal, and that they were a gift from my mother. I told her that they remind me that in the Bible, in Revelation 4:6, there is a description of a crystal sea around the throne of God. I told her that I enjoy holding the beads when I pray. The colourful crystal beads are soothing to watch. I get a tremendous enjoyment of the world using all my senses.

She asked me what I prayed, using the beads, and I told her that I pray the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy. It is a prayer for mercy for the whole world. I shared a part of it with her:

‘For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on all the whole world.’ Soon my name was called to see Kathy, my hygienist. I said good-bye to my new friend. Perhaps she will understand how important it is for all of us to pray for God’s mercy on a world where more and more people seem intent on wilfully disobeying him every day.

Lessons From Some Driving Gloves

Do you have any bad habits that you are trying to break in 2020 ?

I had developed a habit of hobby shopping at Amazon.com.

With today’s new technology, spending money has become easier than ever !

My first order was some cinnamon from Sri Lanka, through the Cinnamon Hill Company in England. That was so easy, and successful, that I quickly progressed to buying other items such as French shaving cream and soaps for my husband, a weighted blanket, which we love, silk pillowcases to prevent wrinkles, and lots of other nice, but unnecessary stuff.

It was when the leather driving gloves arrived, that the Holy Spirit convicted me that my habit had become sinful and overindulgant.

The gloves were the wrong colour, much too big for my small hands, and had no fingertips.

As I re-packaged the gloves to send back to Amazon, I asked for God’s help to stop my over- shopping. It had been pleasant to shop by tapping on my iPad while sitting in my lounge chair.

I have no further plans to buy anything else through Amazon.com.

There is great poverty in our rural outport. Many residents work seasonally at the local fish processing plant, and year-round work is often part-time and minimum wage.

Near the end of the month, most stores are empty, as people await the arrival of their government cheques.

God reminded me that money does not ‘belong’ to us. Everything belongs to Him, and he expects us to use the resources that he has ‘lent’ us wisely. He expects us to help our neighbours.

I am grateful I overcame this bad habit with God’s help.

I still have other bad habits that I need help with too.

Too Friendly ?

Do you agree with me that sometimes organizations can be too friendly ?

I recently attended a new church, that I thought I might join.

The pastor and his wife both greeted me with tight hugs when I came in. Six ladies were preparing a nice breakfast, and when they saw me they all came over and hugged me tightly too.

During the church service the pastor encouraged everyone to greet each other, and everyone hugged each other again.

At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife both gave me ‘warm’ hugs.

How did I feel after all this hugging ? I felt afraid, and vowed never to visit that church again.

I should explain. I am a trauma survivor, and many trauma survivors find being hugged by strangers overly intimidating and a violation of their personal space.

Generally, of course, among intimate friends and family members, hugs are healing.

We need to be aware that not everyone is comfortable with being hugged by a stranger.

I much prefer the Oriental and Indian custom of people giving each other a small bow as a form of greeting.

Pictured is our backyard after Newfoundland’s recent storm of the Century.