Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wellness and Sports – Yah Right!

She is small but mighty. Her name is Anne and she is a Fitness Supervisor at the Wellness and Sports Center in Peterborough. The Center is a large facility where people go to get it back – or keep what they have.

In the past few months Dan and Fernand have been partners through an amazing journey to get in shape and lose weight.

I focus on Dan specially as his weight issues are great at times. We have dieted together so I know what he has done to try to get the weight off. It is plain hard – if not impossible to shed the unwanted pounds.

A few days ago I rose early to connect with Dan at the Wellness and Sports Centre. By early I mean 6 AM – Dan and the others are there at 6:30 AM to begin their regiment of puffing and huffing. The regiment that is designed to get you into the shape that will keep you alive a little longer – while killing you as you try to muster the moves.

Anne is a key person in this regiment of exercise. The guys know she is mighty and good at what she does. They lovingly dubbed her with a second name, “Cornel Klink”, the commandant of the Stalag 13 (Hogan’s Heroes TV Program).

One thing that Dan does is laugh… a lot. Even through the pain he is one big ball of fun. I dare say that any class member has had a difficult time staying on track ads they have this “Santa’s Double” in their class. No beard but he still has a belly that shakes a little when he laughs… but not near as much of the belly that he had before.

As Dan explains it he has not lost the full 30 pounds that he wanted to lose – in that the fat that was there dropped off and the new muscle that he made is beefed up. And the bad news is – Muscle weighs more than Fat.
Anne knows her stuff. She apparently has also lost weight over the years and now fits the bill as an instructor. Trim and fit she can confidently walk around the exercise floor area and into the work out room to check on her guys and gals. Likely the check ups are not only to see if they are doing something – but to see if they are still alive…

The value of someone to walk with you through the difficult journey is something we need to catch and keep. Anne is a presence that moves carefully and quietly from one person to the next…encouraging and correcting – keeping track of where they are and pushing(a little) to where they want to go.

I don’t doubt that every area of our lives could be better if we had someone walk with us… stand with us… say words that remind us of why we are doing what we do… just so we could eventually succeed.

Think back to a coach or teacher that moved you from “I can’t do that” to a “Wow, I can’t believe I did that!”

I think back to the earlier days for myself, it was Cross Country Racing. It is likely the simplest of sports. You go out to an area in the country and then run. All you need is light clothing and some shoes – but shoes are not always needed by some.

“Whitey” as we knew him was lean and long. He ran with us all the time. This coach never yelled at you from the side line – but rather ran ahead of you – all the way. The way was always 6 miles – every night. 6 Miles somewhere… out in the country.

At about the 1 and 2 miles marker – the air was not coming easy…it felt like, “Why am I doing this!?” Then at another point it felt like a wall that would shove you over to the side of the trail. But then the last mile was just ahead…with legs screaming obscenities that no one could hear – you pushed on and on… until the end….

Whitey was always with us. When we dropped back a bit – maybe tailing everyone else…his pace would slow and he would then catch your stride step for step. As he fell in beside me he would begin to share a story of a race or and event that he taken part in. The wonder is that he could speak and run too.

Whitey was about 50 years old. He was in top shape. He was good. But he was always with us step for step encouraging and helping you to look to the win up ahead.

Now at 64 years old I can remember well. I can’t run it any more – but a powerful walk can be done easily – 6 miles is nothing – but it could be something tomorrow.

As I shot the video of Dan having fun… I am thinking…maybe Anne could help me too…. Maybe – just maybe.

Hey anyone want to join me? I can’t keep up to Dan now… but You – maybe…?!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Take a Peek at the Video…
Dan Haley Loses Weight Big Time (– 9 Minutes 37 seconds)

Wellness and Sports Centre
Wellness and Sports Centre Photos

Friday, August 29, 2008

One Second That Changed the World

When the driver turned the truck a slight bit to the right…maybe trying to miss the stalled car, maybe grabbing a napkin to wipe up the spilled coffee or maybe just nodding off – it was all over. His huge truck swerved to the right and the truck box continued left – landing at a sudden stop against the very tall light pole. The contents of the truck box spilled all over the road and traffic began to slow to a stall.

It was 2:30 AM and this small pause in time amplified to mega proportions by 6 AM – then by 8 AM their were millions of people creeping slowly to their work place – or perhaps many that simply turned around and went home. The entire 401 Highway was shut down until almost midday.

Imagine one small slip and it was over for thousands upon thousands yesterday. One man’s goof, or one truck’s breakdown stopped a city from functioning.

I cannot honestly say what happened. But I saw the evidence of the load laying on the road and the engineers checking to see if the light pole would have to come down after being damaged.

As I thought of this yesterday, how many times does a simple mistake on the part of one person cause such damage? It takes one foolish side step from the norm to make a huge difference in so many lives. In the case of yesterday’s truck accident it stopped a whole city and every one coming from the east side to not get to work on time. Millions upon Millions of dollars were not delivered on time as thousands of other trucks sat on the gigantic parking lot called the 401 Highway.

In our area one meat packing plant owned and operated by the Maple Leaf Foods Company is now being pointed to as the source of a huge mistake that has now killed more than 15 people – 12 in Ontario. Apparently on Line 8 & 9, in mid July, in the large food processing plant something went wrong… and the very dangerous bacterial infection was somehow released into the meat that were packed. Without anyone seeing what was happening it went from that plant to at least 15 different places across Ontario and Canada. Many people perhaps were sick but 15 passed away.

Was it one small error on the part of one over tired plant worker? Did some one just not care enough to do their job that day… a lackadaisical attitude that allowed the contact to take place and pollute the product.

My point – is the fact that one “small sin” changed a lot of people’s lives. It likely happened in a heart beat… truck or poisoned meat products….both changed people’s worlds. 15 people lost loved one and countless people may have lost money and even jobs with some very small mistakes.

A man I know made a really stupid decision to climb into bed that other person – not his wife. The adulterous affair went from bad to worse until he couldn’t stop. It all started with that one stupid decision. Today his wife is fighting for everything. He cannot see his children anymore because of threats. His life is in shambles… having lost everything.

Another “one-time-stupid-mistake” by one person that will affect the lives of his children forever – so silly…so ridiculous… so stupid – what can you say?

There are days that I wonder at the words people use toward each other. One slip and it is over – a friendship is lost. One action in a truck and whole city stops dead. One dumb worker that misses his cue to keep it clean and 15 people are dead and perhaps many more are very ill.

One second can change a world for everyone.

What will you do today to make sure you are right on? “No mistakes here… I will do my best…my absolute best”…. is an old attitude that made a difference in a big way.

I want to stand up and shout – “You can count on me!”

How about you?

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Flying Great Grandmother

Great Grandma came back to Peterborough! She arrived on a jet plane that swooped in from Calgary, Alberta. She “partied hearty” for a full week spending time with her kids, grandkids and great grandkids. The dance at the wedding was a little too much to get her walker of move into the “Congo line” or the “Bunny Hop”. But she took lots of photos.

Now go back 100 years when this Great Grandma was not yet born – and her Great Grandma traveled to Canada from the USA. The mode was slow as it was a train from the Iowa area of the USA. They came on a slow moving train along the “Soo Line” up to southern Saskatchewan.
Can you imagine the changes that one century has made?

My mom has seen a lot in her life time.

About a year ago we traveled a road in southern Saskatchewan. There was a dusty road long ago deserted for larger roads. There at the side of the road was a lonely grave yard that had been neglected over all these years. The grass was much higher than the tombstones. The likelihood that the people buried there were not forgotten by their loved ones, but that the loved ones are now all gone as well. The small stone buried in the long grass is all that is left.

Mom looked at the road along side the small grave plot and told me the story.

She and her brother were fighting in the back seat of the old 1929 car. Her dad was sick of it. He stopped the car and told the two of them to get out. He slammed the door and drove away. Mom’s voice trailed off as she remembered the heart breaking scene personally. She ran after the disappearing down the road car. She was crying her eyes out. Her brother on the other hand kicked the dirt hard with his old work boots and walked the other way away from the car.

Eventually her father stopped and turned around to go back and pickup the kids in the middle of the prairies. He needed both of them. My mom helped my grandmother in the kitchen and with the other little kids – she was the built in “nanny” as the oldest daughter. Grandpa needed his son who was a hard worker.

I wonder with the new regulations of C.A.S. we have now… what would have happened. Mom would be raised in foster care and so would her brother. Yikes – the thought is too weird.

So much has changed. Now at 87, Mom can travel still. Flying where she wants to fly. She is in and out of Toronto with us – no problem. She actually loves the action of the cars zooming by our vehicle. Kind of like a ride at an amusement park I think.

As I look at the difference a few short years has made in our lives I am amazed at the results. Mom has not only witnessed a lot but we have also. In my life there has been much that has changed. Having your grandchildren ask questions about the Old DAYS (which is their parent’s high school days) is too funny.

What have we lost in the process of going forward? For me it was an innocence, when things were so much slower and easier – at least it seemed it was.

As we drove to the airport yesterday we traveled by an area that we have not been through for years. In fact we went by the area that I first lived in – 42 years ago. The roads are bigger and much faster – but the small communities are still there. As we whizzed by so did my memories of that old days stuff.

How could I ever gain the old stuff back again?

When I have talked with my mom about this – she likes the “Now” better than the “Then” – except for missing certain people that were once there so large in her life.

As I looked at Mom in the car last night whizzing down the 401 Highway – dozing off a little – I wonder what I swill be doing in another 23 years. A Flying Great Grandpa – hmmm?

When my grandkids are being married in Singapore or Japan – will I be able to make it? When my grandkids take their first job in Africa will Alida and I be able to make over to see their amazing project that is saving thousands of people’s lives?

Today as Great Grandma Lincoln is sleeping in a little bit… I wonder.

God has been good to us… so very good.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rushing from Full Steam Ahead #2

As I worked on the small project with Reg he said, “Murray, I am so happy. This has been a great day! It is one of the best ones that I have had for a long time.”

Reg was sitting with me in the garage. We are doing wood carving together. He loves wood carving and the small things that he cannot do – I help him to complete the project.

It was a struggle to get there from his house to mine. When I picked him up he struggled to get out of the house, down the steps, up another set of steps and then walk over to the van. As we pulled out he commented, “Your vehicle is sure a lot easier to get into than the other cars. Thanks for picking me up.”

Reg walks with a single arm brace/cane on his left arm. His right arm doesn’t work anymore.

Earlier in the day we had celebrated together by going downtown to get a hair cut together. There was a parking space not far away so he didn’t have to walk far. It took a bit to get his right leg to cooperate as the muscles are now making strange reactions to the signal they are getting from the brain.

As we walked into the barber shop he told the barber that he wanted a hair cut like mine. It has been over two months since he had his last hair cut – and it was long and bugging him.

After his time in the chair he stood slowly and looked at his left and right legs. Then he reached out to take hold of the arm of the chair. It was a chore to move this much after sitting so long for the hair cut – new signals were needed for the limbs to work.

Why so much difficulty? Reg has a large brain tumor on the left side of his brain. It is intertwined in the brain and is now crossing over to the right side of his brain. The signals that are normally sent to the limbs have been interrupted or are being interrupted… and he has to wait to send more down to the good left leg and good left arm.

As I climbed into the barber’s chair He sat off to the side rubbing his leg vigorously trying to get the pain to leave. It seems that the signals now being sent down are making all the muscles work against each other…kind of like a massive cramp.

His speech is slower now…words are hard to get.

We walked back to the van slowly while his leg was cramping and pulling up. He said again, “This is a wonderful day. Thank you so much for taking me to get my hair cut. It feels so good to get this done. This is wonderful.”

Reg’s wife now want to divorce him. She wants to the house too. He has not seen his kids for over two years. It is a sad story and much more than I can tell here. She has her reasons that are likely legitimate. Someday soon I am going to meet her when I drive Reg over to where they all live – about three hours from Peterborough. It will be a long trip.

The tumor is spreading. There likely isn’t a whole lot of time left for Reg. But it takes time to get the officials that are involved in complicated family struggles to move on anything. They are on holidays over the summer and it takes time. It takes meetings and more phone calls. And when the person you called is now on holidays you need to wait. But when they come back they are promoted to another case or job – and you wait until the new person gets up to speed.

Reg’s life is about that complicated and the tumor is growing.

We were in the garage to complete an important step in the carving for his son. He has completed one carving and is now doing the second one.

As I went to sleep last night, the last words he said echoed over and over again….

“Murray, I am so happy. This has been a great day! It is one of the best ones that I have had for a long time.”

It sure has been Reg… it sure has.

“Oh God help Reg today… and then help me to help Reg. Help me to not be so busy being busy. Help me to help.”

Reg said one more thing that kind of stopped me… “Murray, this is how I think I will feel in heaven some day. It is really neat. I love it.”

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rushing from Full Steam Ahead

My Palm Pilot Calendar states it plainly – “No Appointments Today”. What an interesting feeling to have nothing to do. After being driven so long, to be – to do – to get there on time… that feeling now just brushes by my life once in a small while. A fleeting moment of having to do-s whizzes by me and then leaves again.

Yesterday I was visiting a friend and picked up some more wood to carve. I was late coming back and Alida would be waiting on me – so I needed to rush home.

As I drove along I saw the opportunity up ahead. There on the road was the same bridge that I had driven over time and time again – always glancing over the side of the bridge at the smooth clean water flowing along. Then I did it… I applied the brakes and stopped in front of the bridge on the large shoulder of the road. I turned the car off and opened the back hatch. There were three fishing rods – which one would be best?

For the next lazy hour I fished – by myself. I caught a fish every cast. Not big ones – but good fighters. Over an over again the rod tip plunged down to the water’s surface as the little monsters took the worm. I quit when I used up the worms that I had.

When I got home with the big smile on my face – Alida understood. I had gone fishing… and loved it. Supper was not waiting. It was good.

I am now rushing from “Full Steam Ahead” to a much slower pace. It has been 62 days since I walked into the Employment Insurance office with a lump in my throat… and declaring my unemployment. The first day was murder… today it is a delight. I am free and love it.

(Yes – Yes – if E.I. people read this – I have looked for jobs… and got a few – like I reported. But hey… you pay little after all these years of my paying much into the plan… so I have decided I will work little until something better is in place. It has taken me 50 plus days to figure that out!)

We stopped by the Zoo on Sunday AM as we were heading out of town. There in the sprinkler and water park was the happiest person alive. He was a “little me”. I am guessing he was about 3 or 4 years old. He was being watched by his grandfather, I assume. There was not another person in the play area with him. He had every sprinkler to himself and he ran round and round – complete freedom!
He dashed around to try to stop and feel every water apparatus there was. A Boy’s dream come true.

As we walked away I hesitated to stay an adult. I wanted to shed my clothes and run with him – but without a bathing suit and the warning that it was for little kids only… I just watched.

I have decided to stop wherever and fish… wherever and run… wherever and look… and spend some of the best hours that I have left… just being a human being…not a human doing.

Discussing the possibilities of my new possible SEB program with my counselor she stated that I had to commit a minimum of 35 hours per week to the program. I laughed out loud at that one. She looked kind of odd at my reaction. I apologized that I was not laughing at her words – but at my life. 35 Hours of work a week fit into the center of Pastoral Work Week of the last 34 years… it was like a coffee break in my normal work week. I came to see that when I calculated my average work week has been over 70 to 80 hours per week – with no over time.

That is nuts and will not be that way again.

I am rushing from the full steam ahead program to the next river, the next pleasant picnic spot and the next pause that refreshes… I promised Alida that one… and will keep it for myself.

Yes there is a delightful ministry coming up just around the corner as many of my friends know. There is also a Self Employed Business (SEB) opportunity getting ready to launch… but never again will I sell all that I have in order to gain something that is not mine. Because when you are gone – you are only a fading memory… and a slim one at that.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

PS…check out this story…
3900 Saturdays and the Marble Story

Monday, August 25, 2008

Passive vs Agressive

The year was about 1965 and my friend Orville announced to the world that he had enrolled in the American Marine force and was heading to Vietnam. It didn’t make sense he was Canadian – and to top it all off his Scandinavian Heritage had little to do with the USA or anything in the war setting.

Orville had not done well in school – he was genius with cars and women – but school was something you got through… not excelled in. You tolerated it and made it through eventually but that was because all your friends were there and the girls were too.

We all headed into either University or good jobs that paid well. Orville worked as a Bell Hop at a local hotel – making good tips he said and with the tips he fixed up his hot rod with a larger motor and lots of body work.

So when Orville signed up for the US Military it was not a surprise. Yet we were not that well informed about Vietnam or what was happening. It would be later when I would sort through my own feelings about men dieing far away for something they really didn’t understand. Then we would see “the Vets” come home broken and dead…thousands of them.

Orville never made it to Vietnam…something about the compassionate transfer out – his mother was deathly sick requiring him to come home. There were at least 5 sons that could be there with her…but she was deathly sick so he came home. In reality she got deathly sick thinking that her second last son could or would get killed in a war that was real.

About four years after that time I started meeting up with “draft dodgers” – men that had run from the Vietnam War to Canada. They were Hippy Types – weird looking with long unkempt hair, poor clothing, and usually living in a communal arrangement.

For my younger readers “draft dodgers” were “low life” types that had run away from responsibilities of being forced into an army and war that they didn’t believe in. They had left behind family and friends that had stayed and done their part in the war effort. Now they were living alone in Canada without support and celebration of those that should be close to them.

During those early years of the Vietnam War I worked in New Brunswick, Canada. My territory as a Computer Technician was parallel to the USA/Maine border. I often drove the St. John River valley north to Edmonston, N.B. and then back.

One of those trips north the war came home to me in a vibrant way. Suddenly just a few hundred feet above my vehicle came a roar of jet engines. A B52 Bomber was doing a low run along the St. John River valley – I suppose imitating the runs that they would do over the Mekong River in Vietnam later. To hear it above you, then see the tail disappear ahead of you – with the fire seeming to breath from the tails of each motor – raised the hair on your neck. This was war practice right in front of me. It was an American plane just above me. They meant business with this practice. I suddenly realized that I was a possible Vietnamese target – that if I had been in Vietnam I would have then been in heaven.

This posting is following yesterday’s – when I contemplated again the futility of war…struggles over sand that doesn’t matter and rocks that don’t care. When I come to the realization that I am a passive person, I hate war. I hate killing. None of it makes sense at all. So – yes I do question the aggressive nature that some people have… either on their side or our side.

In about 1977 as a minister I attended a special conference in Springfield, Missouri. A fellow minister picked me up at the airport. I was their special speaker for that conference. We were the same age. We both had two kids and had also almost the same training in our working careers. We had a lot in common and immediately hit it off in a big way becoming close friends from the start.

Over that week with him I met his wife, his kids and his friends. They were wonderful Christian people.

I can’t remember how it came about that he told me his latest endeavor. He had just trained his wife and kids to handle the big guns that he kept in his house. They all learned how to fire them under his guidance. Then they acted out the possible scenarios that they might have to use the guns. If and when a burglar entered their home – and they were home – they were to retrieve the gun and then aim, fire with the intension to maim or kill the person before they got their last limb out of the house. That would then be self defense… hitting the person outside of the house was murder – and we don’t want any hassle with a murder charge…self defense if OK – murder is not OK. There was great pride in the story and the accomplishment of getting the family onside to blast someone to smithereens.

I was still in shock when we entered his car in the next hour to go and pick up his kids from a school game. He told me how he had a large gun under his seat to use in case of some one trying to take him hostage of steal his car from him. Then he pulled it out to show me. It was the largest silver pistol that I had ever seen…right under his seat!

He proceeded to explain how his wife’s little brother had run from a southern state and their good Christian Family to live somewhere in Ontario…as “draft dodger”. The disgust in his voice was real. Then he told me the worst part. The younger brother was a dead man as far as the family was concerned. If he returned they would personally kill him or if not – have him arrested by authorities for his running away.

The southern Christian Family with the run away son had a proud American Heritage of each generation having fought in a war somewhere. They had lost some and they had some return broken and busted up – but that was their duty.

I think my new minister friend saw that I was in shock because he stopped telling me the stories and took me to the airport. I couldn’t stop thinking of the horror that the young man had now – living somewhere in Ontario.

Later, when President Bill Clinton signed an order to allow the guys to come home… this fellow would likely not return because he was a dead man in the eyes of his family.

Now as I write today I am shaken again by what some people consider Christianity to be. They are justified by the killing if the cause is right. But it is killing… that is one person taking another person’s life…? How can that be good?

At times I see Christians that still think that killing is OK – within the church – but that is another story. For now I question why we think it is OK to do what some are promoting as “humanitarian aid” with guns leveled and sites trained on people that are reticent to receive our help.

Something is a little off with some of this strange knowledge and thinking pattern.

Ok – Ok – enough already! BUT is it OK to ask the question – whether this is right to do? What does God think about it all? God have mercy on us today…please have mercy!

~ Murray Lincoln ~
PS – If you are a new reader to this Blog and wonder at my reasoning… please take a look at my last name…yes I am related to a man that was famous in the good old USA… Abe Lincoln is a relative for sure… and he was killed over a really terrible war that pitched people against people… with thousands upon thousands dieing for what?... to live together in the same country…? and if you know the whole story – he was doing a very difficult job. Yes my family was deeply affected by war – deeply!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A World Wide Pause

For the past 18 days our home has been transformed either night time or day time – some times the whole daytime– by the Olympics in Beijing.

Just now Alida and I finished the last installment of our marathon viewing by watching the live TV of the closing ceremonies in Beijing. WOW! There is little to compare with the spectacular display that one country has presented. These Olympics are perhaps the greatest ever! If not the games themselves it is the complete World Spectacular that has been given by the nation of China.

I know it is small – but Thank You China and all your people for letting us in.

As I have written before – we are more than a little bit proud in that our nephew Zach Bell was a participant and did well in what he took part in. For the very first time taking part in this kind of greatest ever world event – he placed well! Way to Go – Zach!

Though I am doubtful in my world as I view it – there seems to be hope – for a moment. Everyone is together, everyone celebrating – and the fire works wow – actually double wow! What a sense of pride a jubilation.

As a Christian I think I just had a preview of what heaven will be like.

Yet as human I am so aware of my world. Just north and west of us at a little community known as “Township of Tiny” a horrendous fight has been going about a small strip of sand on Balm Beach. People want to walk on it. However, one family doesn’t want that that to happen in any way. The family by the name of John and Elizabeth Marion do not want people on their small section of the beach – that they claim to own.

You can read about it in the newspapers every where. Placing “The Star - Balm Beach and the Marions” in a Google Search and you will get 8040 possible things referring to these dear folk.

There are many people hurt over a silly and over crowded piece of land on Georgian Bay, Ontario and 100s of phone calls to the police.

TALK ABOUT STUPID! Read about it below…

But then last week – the Friday newspaper showed us a small family’s photo on the front page of a Soldier Dad, his wife and two daughters. It was taken in July 2005 as he was leaving Canada to fight in a war in Afghanistan. He is coming home this week in a box to his wife and kids. WOW! All over a piece of sandy and rocky land that doesn’t want to change a whole lot.

Now something is wrong with this picture here. We are celebrating TOGETHER in Beijing China and killing each other over stupid pieces of sand in other places.

Do I sound like a passive person? Yep, I am. You are completely right if you guessed that! I don’t see how killing can settle anything.

You cannot set people free that don’t want to be set free.

And it(Afghanistan and Iraq Wars) all started when some really sick people took thousands of people’s lives on September 11, 2001. These sick ones thought they were on their way to heaven but woke up in Hell.

Then we(the west) have added to that number by throwing our men and women into the stupidest of all fights – in Canada’s case – “rebuilding Afghanistan”. We have now lost 93 Canadians…nothing beside what the USA loses each month. At one point they were losing 4000 men and women per month – more than was lost in one day of 9-11. And that has gone on for not just months – BUT FOR YEARS!!!!

Somehow the only ones that are rebuilding are the people who make coffins for the military.

Is it right or correct for a Pastor to call for the leaders that are involved to pull people out of a terrible war zone – a zone that we had nothing to do with in the first place? YES – I think it is terribly right to stop a wrong.

The radical Islamic people that are fostering this hatred are not normal Islamic people. Neither are the radical Christian people that maintain the need to kill – like the normal Christian people.

In God’s name I ask humbly - could we all stop – just for a moment and listen to each other without killing anymore?

That is a radical appeal that will never likely be heard by anyone other than the few that read this simple BLOG.

What if there was a world wide pause – just for a moment and then we listened to each other.

As a Christian I believe in a finality of it all. Soon the return of Jesus Christ will take place. I believe it. So you may not – that doesn’t mean we need to fight over it. One moment I will be gone and you… well…?

When it happens all the Christians will disappear – at least all the ones that are ready for Him. There may be a few left behind that were still messing with beaches and silly sand. But I believe in an end…which will be the start of something even better.

But I am not here to preach. Today in church most of us have been listening to a familiar old story and then leave there to do whatever.

If today you could pause – just for a moment and wonder with me – could it be different while we exist here together.

China and all the people of the last 4 years and 18 days have proven it to be true. Now if only the rest of us could catch the full picture – whatever faith grouping we come from – maybe just maybe we could be neighbours…

Enough ranting for today… back to churchy stiff and stuff…. AMEN!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Take a look here….
Fence draws line in sand over waterfront access
http://www.thestar.com/article/484318

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Conquering the Non Traditional

Within our society there are set boundaries that must not be crossed. They are almost rules. But the line between shifts as time goes on. Once rules are now seen as boundaries. At least that is my perception. This week I witnessed this in a powerful way again.

Our granddaughter Emma started playing American/Canadian style Football. Yep. Helmet and all. Sweaty and hot, red faced, puffing and stinky – down on the ground and messing with other bigger guys as they rush to put their best into plays that move a silly ball down field for points!
Her brother Clifford has taken part in the Kinsmen Summer Football Camp for a couple of years now. At 13 this is his last year to play – next year he will be able to be an assistant coach. When he first started he was little in comparison to others – now he is one of the tallest.

In the fall, beginning in September, the Kinsmen organize and support a full contact football league that is full contact. This week’s camp has been “flag football” only…but you still have the potential of falling, being trampled, and getting something broken or deeply bruised. Flying and excited bodies don’t wait or care for you if you are a “wuss”.

Well Emma is not a “wuss”, still a girl, but not a “wuss”. She lasted the whole week including a big game yesterday – playing on the opposite team to her brother Clifford.

From the coaches reports to Dad and Mom, Emma was not a “wuss” at all but a real joy to have in the camp all week. They loved her! Imagine someone putting a whole lot of stuff into the game that makes all the “coaches love you”!?

That ‘loving part’ is pretty easy to do when you are the ONLY GIRL that tried out! That says it all actually – when you consider Conquering the Non Traditional as being a boundary challenging effort.
The photo tells you how many kids there were, the newspaper said there were numerous kids enrolled… in fact there were almost 70 players. (Emma is sixth from the left in the front row)

Emma played on the Red Squad and Clifford on the White. Rivalry was great but camaraderie was greater. And that is what each one felt.

Something that should be noted, some of the boys dropped out by the second day. It was too hard to do all the stuff. Not Emma… she is a stick-in-there-to-the-end person.

Oh – did I mention she is NINE YEARS OLD? She is not a “wuss”.

The dictionary says…
wuss Anoun1 weakling, doormat, wuss a person who is physically weak and ineffectual Category Tree: entity
- object; physical object
- living thing; animate thing
- organism; being
- person; individual; someone; somebody; mortal; human; soul
- weakling, doormat, wuss
- wimp; chicken; crybaby
- softy; softie
- namby-pamby

Nope Emma is not a Wuss!

Another article says…Professor Crystal - UK
'He's a wuss.' 'She's a wuss.' It means ineffectual person, indecisive, weak. It's from the United States; it came in in the 1980s. To be honest, I didn't think it would last, but it's still here. It has a very unclear etymology. It may be from 'wussy' - that is from pussy wussy, you know, the pussy cat. It's a kind of talking down about a cat. Or it might be a blend of 'wimp' - that is an ineffectual person - plus 'pussy': wimp/pussy, wussy, wuss. 'Stop being a wuss!' - that's the usage you hear a lot these days. Anyway, whatever the etymology, a politician was said to be 'a liberal wuss' - that is a coward. And there are even Wuss Awards now. I saw on the web the other day, 'Who was the biggest Wuss of 2005?' - with a capital W - this is obviously something very attractive to be. The word seems to be developing. It's become a verb - 'Stop wussing!' 'Ah! He's wussing around!' And I've even seen a new noun, wusser, wussers - 'We're all wussers now!' 'We've all become a complete pack of complete wussers,' says somebody on a website.

Definitely not Emma!
But she is pretty. Someday if she tries to continue in Football – the distraction for other players will be too great. She is all GIRL and budding beautifully to eventually become a gorgeous ROSE – which will be another kind of problem – oh boy!

The point is – in today’s generation conquering the non traditional is getting on with life. It is selecting a job that will work for you – maybe not falling within the norm of society around your.

The new movie entitled “The Longshots” is now out. Last night after the Big Week of Football – we sat together in the theater and enjoyed it. The plot is simple
“When Curtis Plummer, a down on his luck former high school football star, takes the only job he can find--babysitting his misfit niece Jasmine--he discovers that she has the skills that once made him a great quarterback. The only place these two opposites get along is on the field, so Curtis is determined to turn Jasmine into the star of the local team, The Minden Browns, and get his own stride back by becoming the coach. The boys on the team don’t want her but when this girl quarterback shows them she’s got the skills, she’ll turn their whole world upside down.”

“The Longshots” is based on a true story and it is inspiring.

I felt that way yesterday as I was a wee bit proud because of Emma. There is a YouTube Video now out entitled “Girls Don’t Play Football!”. The producer is Grandpa Lincoln and it now stands as a monument to Emma. I hope some day to see it played as a trailer at her wedding reception.

The powerful part about yesterday happened at the very end…

The White Squad had won. The two squads lined up to do the pass by slapping each other’s hands. Her Big Brother was at the front of the White Squad’s slap through – Emma on the Red Squad was near the end. When the two met – their dad caught a classic shot that should last a lifetime. Look closely at Clifford’s face and see the grin on his sister’s face. Priceless – simply priceless!
When you conquer the non traditional – there is a whole new world waiting. What out guys – Emma is about to…. turn the world up side down!

Oh – one other part that is important – riding home in the car one night Emma said, “Mom, I want to have a bath so I can feel like a girl again.”

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Girls Don’t Play Football – YouTube Video
The Longshots Movie Trailer
Galaxy Theaters info
Professor Crystal from the UK – on the word WUSS

Friday, August 22, 2008

Why Bother Blogging?

The power of a Blog has yet to be understood really. It reaches way past where the normal Web Page goes. Web Pages serve their purpose yes – but are more static in nature with fewer up dates.

On July 7, 2008 my Blog Title was “The Most Beautiful Love Story Everyone Should Know”. The post was about Joseph Scriven, the author of the Christian Hymn, “What a Friend We Have In Jesus”.

While checking over the stats of the Blog today I discovered a reason for why I do what I do with the Blog. There in the stats is buried the fact that a person in Amman, Jordan came searching for “the most beautiful love story” in their Arabic Google Search.

One of two things happened on August 20, 2008 at 2:23 in the afternoon – and for the next 5 minutes and 23 seconds. They were… 1.) I connected with a Christian hidden in this country or 2.) I connected with an Islamic friend – who has read the entire story of “What a Friend We Have In Jesus”.

When you consider the possibilities of a Christian Minister in Peterborough, Ontario of ever walking into a home or office in Amman, Jordan to tell the story about Jesus – either encouraging a fellow Christian or testifying about the love of Jesus – they are pretty remote.

Yet because of this Blog – I have had the opportunity to reach way past the normal possibilities and have done it all without a passport or visa, and airplane ticket or a huge debt to travel there.

There are days that I feel so wrung out and not able to type one more word… and think about simply taking a real long holiday. There are days that I question whether it is worth it all… But then every once in a while some one comes to visit from Turkey, from Ethipoia, from India and often from China. When I check out what they are checking out… and then think of the possibilities – it blows my mind!

A few months ago when I completed the work and ministry as Pastor of Northview I was asked to take down the “Northviewchurch.blogspot.com”. I thought about it and prayed about it…but felt a check about taking it down. As it is ‘intellectual property’ it stands as my Blog – under a church name – so the name is changed. Not being the pastor any longer the fear is that the angry old guy will cause some problems(as if he hasn’t already ;-).

From time to time I check the stats on the old Blog from Northview – it gets about 20 hits per day – and most are from searches down from places like Jordan and India and wherever – all over in fact!

A Blog is done for many reasons. As you check them out it will amaze you what people write about and offer. Some are really good – others are embarrassing.

I offer these words as encouragement each day (almost everyday). And it is working…

Today with too much to do and a schedule that I have set before me – there was too much to do it early. But even at that 17 have already been by for a visit. Sorry to those who came and the mail box was empty – early this AM. I apologize for my tardiness.

I would ask that my friends reading this blog would pray for me – that God will guide and I will rise early to do what he asks me to do… just to be faithful.

Anyway – with this Blog Posting today – I say thank you for reading. You make my day!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

From the Seach from Amman, Jordan
From the Desk of Murray Lincoln: The Most Beautiful Love Story ...
- [ ترجم هذه الصفحة ] The Most Beautiful Love Story Everyone Should Know. Yesterday my world changed by a love story I never knew before. It is one of those warm and deeply ...murraylincoln.blogspot.com/2008/07/most-beautiful-love-story-everyone.html
68k - نسخة مخبأة - صفحات مشابهة

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Places that Inspire

“Hi there, how are you?” the big man with the deep tan said while beaming from ear to ear. Within a few feet he said again, “Hi there, you heading down to the beach again?” Another short distance and he was at it again, “Hi David, are you going the wrong way… did you forget something?” – a light hearted comment to a new friend that he met a short while ago.

Within a short distance as we walked of less than a city block, he had greeted at least a half dozen people from well over 70 years of age down to 13 years old. And they all knew him!

Every once in a while you run across some one that is infectious with their attitude. They bubble with attitude that draws people. Most politicians are this way. There is something about them that makes you stop and look. When they greet you they beam. When they kiss your baby it is ok. No one wonders at the almost strange actions of this man… that the next guy to you – WOULD NEVER DO!

Meet the “Mayor of Elim”, lovingly dubbed by his fellow campers. He is a big man with a big heart. They love him. Recently he and his wife sold their other trailer at the camp ground to move closer to the center of the action – right beside the main thorough fare where they could see everyone. Where most people would seek a less active spot at a camp ground – not the Mayor of Elim – he LOVES PEOPLE! I dare say that he will know absolutely everyone in the camp ground before the summer is up.

As the Mayor of Elim reads this he will wonder at me. I would be the first one to sell the Mayor my trailer by the busy roadside – as I want to be in a quiet spot – miles from people that are swarming around the heart of the Camp Ground!

It’s all about perspective. It’s all about places that inspire.

Oh – yes – some of you know the Mayor of Elim. Some reading this Blog know Terry Manley well – others that have not yet met him need to know him. Here he is the Mayor of Elim!
The Elim part of the Title is the name the Christian Camp ground where a whole lot of Christians mass together near a lake to rub their Christianity off on each other. Though it is beautiful and one of the nicest camp grounds around the area – there are a whole lot of people very close by. And you have to love people close by… if you love Elim.

But that is why the Manleys – Terry and Marion have moved into the Manley Mansion in the Heart of Elim City. Manleys love people.

Here is a couple shots of their Mansion – directly across from the Tuck Shop, Store and Snack Shop – right on the main road to the pool.
(above - the view from the Front Porch)

The Manley’s Mansion is a place that inspires.

Now you may have wondered at the photo at the beginning of this posting. This is the sight that you see from the Bridge at Gannon Narrows looking out towards the Mayor of Elim’s realm at 9 PM on August 19, 2008. He kind of lives some where over the Island in the foreground and a bit to the right.

From the air you can see his place better – kind of…
But back to the original thought… “places that inspire”… have you been to one this summer? When you are there… it something about being alone with God and maybe alone with people that is fascinating. It is a place that inspires.

The simple thought here is I have to want to be inspired in order to get something out of that spot. The spot will only provide me opportunity to receive.

The Manley Mansion situated right beside a busy little camp road is total inspiration for them. In fact for Terry is has brought a new title for him – “Mayor”.

But what is inspiring for me is – God is trying to get us to that place where we can be inspired… where our soul can be reached and stretched no matter what is happening around us and to us.

Later in the evening the Manley guided us to an evening service where the speaker shared the familiar story of Joseph of the Bible. As he wove the words together I was caught by his own testimony which he placed for all to see – the life he had lived and the one of Joseph demonstrated the presence of God in places that inspired. The places the speaker had been and the places that Joseph had lived through were not altogether inspiring for most – but with God they were just right.

So it is with me. What I have walked through over these years – I could have endured – or moved through the places and experiences without even noticing what was going on. Worse yet I could have regretted that my “mansion” was too close to the thorough fare of life and wished for something different.

Instead, like Terry, I have chosen to be the kind of person that everyone stops to talk to. There is nothing more important than people. That is why we are BOTH ‘Mayors’ in our own little worlds. He at his trailer – me on my block.

It is all about perspective… as to how the place inspires.

I wish for you that special kind of blessing this mid summer week. May you reach out as you reach in for that inspiration. May you look up to see inside.

And if you are ever in the Elim Camp ground – the Mayor is not hard to find. Park your car close to the office area, not far from the large ‘Tabernacle”…. Then begin to walk toward the lake. From the shaded front porch of the mansion on your left will come a call, “Hi how are you? Would you like to come in and sit down?” You will have met the Mayor of Elim. Watch out he is infectious!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The 100 Hundred Meter Dash

The words tumbled from her mouth not making a lot of sense. Her eyes told most of the story. But at the stage she was speaking the race was over and she was now composing herself. Just like the other Olympic runners or athletes participating this past two weeks – she had won the race!

You know the scene… the reporter quickly corners the athlete to get their reflections of the past one minute of their life changing run! They can’t breath let alone talk.

Who was the athlete? Her name is Alida Lincoln. Yes, she is Zach Bell’s aunt. (Zach as you know is an Olympian this year and we have been sitting in front of the live video feed early in the morning. Yesterday he placed 12th in the Madison – maintained 3rd place but then died off as the long race went on.)

While telling me of her “Olympian Run”, Alida took me to the back yard and then approached her open garden shed doors – very carefully. She described the scene as we stood in front of the open doors.

Earlier she had needed some stakes from the shed. The stakes are stored over head as you open the doors. She grabbed one and began to move it to the back of the shed and then down. Without knowing it was there the end that was above her head stabbed into the biggest Hornet’s Nest we have ever seen! Quickly the warriors that protect the massive ball were launched – like a Star Wars kind of movie – to see who or what was trying to hurt their nest.

Alida is fast. Even faster now than her girlhood days. She cleared the shed and around the side of the garage in a heart beat. Not stung one time – even though the warriors tried very hard to get her.
The Nest was relevantly quiet as we approached. The workers were still busy going in and out the small entrance hole that they first found – top right of the door. There were about 10 at time in and out of the hole.

I stepped inside the shed carefully and quietly as I could. There above our heads, just above the shelf was the huge nest – about 12 inches across and the outside was crawling with workers rebuilding or building it bigger.

It was 2:00 PM – and the first shot of Foam into the small hole was enough to infuriate them. I have no idea where they all came from – but the 10 or so originally there massed from the trees and the bushes swarming around our heads. I managed to duct tape the hole and not get stung.

Late at night I returned with a full can of foam. It was cool and they were resting after dark. Carefully I opened the door…. aimed and sprayed… then inserted the long, thin tube through the paper walls of the nest and sprayed long and hard until foam spewed out.

That should do it. But it was at that point that the hum grew louder and louder. Apparently everyone in the Nest was now awake and were getting each other out of bed. Imagine someone waking them at 10 PM!

I think it was about that moment that my heroism evaporated and I slammed the doors shut… leaving the seen quickly. Not as fast as Alida – but fast.
This Morning…
There above the door inside was the massive nest – and all was quiet. There were four racks of eggs now exposed and hundreds of dead hornets. Nothing was moving so it was now safe. Gently I removed the massive ball into a waiting pail and then scraped the remaining paper sheets from the walls.

As I cleaned up – there above me was another hornet hovering with a questioning look on his face, “What’s up bud?” Then there were two and then more. Apparently these guys had been out carousing last night and were returning home early in the morning to work.

The interesting part was that they were not coming through the wide open shed doors – but still trying to get into the small duct taped hole. Now even an hour after the removal there are many coming in to inspect where their home had gone.

There has to be a good sermon illustration here.

The persistence and drive to build something for the good of the group is amazing. Imagine if the church or a company had that kind of stick-to-it-ness! Imagine if we protected and fought for what we were building with that zeal!

When the big, bad destruction comes we can ward almost anything off. (Well almost anything except a can of Foam.)

The togetherness of these workers is something else. All for one purpose – all knowing what the others were doing and all for the good of the whole.

At this moment I ‘almost’ feel some guilt…almost. But now we have the garden shed back again.

This nest has to have been there for over a few months. But even the noise of my getting the mower in and out never seemed to make much difference. I never noticed the swarm that was building there. In the bucket there is a good one pound of eggs, paper and dead Hornet bodies.

This desire was created by God…which is a mind stretcher alone. Why did he make these miserable creatures in the first place let alone give them the science and architecture to create what they do?

Someday I need to ask God a few questions when we meet face to face. Hmmm?

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

So What Will Your Obit Say?

The Obit jumps off the computer screen. It is cruel to talk this way about anyone – dead or alive… isn’t it? But what if it is true? Oh Boy – what a lady this must have been!

The obit reads….
Dolores Aguilar 1929 - Aug. 7, 2008

Dolores Aguilar, born in 1929 in New Mexico, left us on August 7, 2008. She will be met in the after life by her husband, Raymond, her son, Paul Jr., and daughter, Ruby.

She is survived by her daughters Marietta, Nim, Stela, Beatrice, Virginia and Ramona, and son Billy grandchildren, Donnelle, Joe, Mitzie, Maria, Marty, Tynette, Tania, Leta, Alexandria, Tommy, Billy, Matthew, Raymond, Kenny, Javier, Lisa, Ashlie and Michael; great-grandchildren, Brendan, Joseph, Karissa, Jacob, Delaney, Shawn, Cienna, Bailey, Christian, Andre Jr., Andrea, Keith, Saeed, Nujaymah, Salma, Merissa, Emily, Jayci, Isabella, Samantha and Emily. I apologize if I missed anyone.

Dolores had no hobbies, made no contribution to society and rarely shared a kind word or deed in her life. I speak for the majority of her family when I say her presence will not be missed by many, very few tears will be shed and there will be no lamenting over her passing.

Her family will remember Dolores and amongst ourselves we will remember her in our own way, which were mostly sad and troubling times throughout the years. We may have some fond memories of her and perhaps we will think of those times too. But I truly believe at the end of the day ALL of us will really only miss what we never had, a good and kind mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I hope she is finally at peace with herself. As for the rest of us left behind, I hope this is the beginning of a time of heating and learning to be a family again.

There will be no service, no prayers and no closure for the family she spent a lifetime tearing apart. We cannot come together in the end to see to it that her grandchildren and great-grandchildren can say their goodbyes. So I say here for all of us, GOOD BYE, MOM.

On the Other Side…
Yesterday I stood beside the bed of the sweetest lady that I have ever met. Iva is not doing well and will likely be in the presence of her Lord before a week is up. She was married to Don who passed away years ago. She never had any children. Through all that she is the nicest lady that I think that I have ever met.

How can two people be so very different? How can one hurt so many? How can one help so many?

A lifetime is one that we all have – what do we do with it?

Over the years as a pastor I have met a few of the “Dolores” of this life. They are miserable with themselves and others which pours out from and into everything they do.

Today I react with deep feelings for the precious little lady that is soon to go. In her 97th year and having blessed so many – there must be a special place for her in Heaven.

I can’t judge Dolores as to where she will eventually end up. I have met a number of these kinds of people that sit in church regularly. They think they even hold the keys to heaven. But they haven’t noticed that few of the congregation are sitting beside them.

Believe me there is a sharp contrast in the way that we live.

I have a choice today. I can be a “Dolores” and make everyone miserable – or I can be the sweetest example the world has ever know.

"Oh God let me be like “Iva” for all my days. And God… if you allow me to live to 97 – may my years be filled with joy and happiness. I so much don’t want to be a “Dolores”. And Lord – please try to do something with Dolores before I get to Heaven – I so much don’t want to live next door to her… Eternity is too long to have an angry neighbour. Please God… PLEASE!"

~ Murray Lincoln ~
PS – My one “T Shirt” says…
“Live your life so the Preacher doesn’t have to lie about you at your funeral.”

Obit Story –
http://sfist.com/2008/08/17/rip_bitch_dolores_aguilar.php

Obit Confirmation –
http://sfist.com/2008/08/18/update_dolores_aguilar_obit_is_dead.php

Monday, August 18, 2008

"Olympians’ marketing shelf lives are notoriously short"

The image of the young man soaking wet, mouth wide open and seeming to holler something at the top of his voice will never leave me. It is one thing that I will take home from the 2008 Olympics. I think he was screaming – “YAH!!!!” or was it “Arghhhhhh!”

Michael Phelps left his mark on the world that day as he won another Gold Medal in the swimming event.

This is one excited young man! His goals were higher than anyone in the world – wanting and expecting 8 Gold Medals – 8 First and Best places in the sport at this Olympics that he is involved with. It was truly amazing what he did.

But there is something even more amazing than the wins he has this past week. The amazing thing is that he is worth a bundle before entering the Olympics – in fact that BUNDLE may be millions.

Daniel Dale, Staff Reporter with the Toronto Starr writes that “Michael Phelps’ record-breaking Olympic performance is really worth: $50 Million to $100 Million, marketing experts say.”!

I think I might dress is a Speedo and splash the water a lot too – if I had just made a possible $100 Million dollars!!!! Or is that…someone would have to pay me a Million to dress in a Speedo…?

Dale reports that Phelps already makes an estimated $5 Million a year in endorsements from Speedo, Visa, AT&T, PowerBar, watchmaker Omega, performance drink maker PureSport and the language-instruction software designer Rosetta Stone.

No wonder the Olympics make him shout – he is worth more than anyone came imagine – at least for a little while.

The article caught my eye because it pointed to the fact that “Olympians’ marketing shelf lives are notoriously short.” In other words Mr. Phelps may be here today and gone tomorrow. Before people world wide see Phelps again it will be in the pool in London, England in 2012.

Dale quotes/points to some experts…
"With baseball pennant races and the start of the NFL and college football seasons approaching, Swangard thinks Phelps' star could fade fast. Portnoy thinks he can sustain about 18 months of "intense exposure." "

Now Back to “Transitions”…connecting some dots…
William Bridges stated that every transition has three parts, “the End, the Neutral Zone and the New Beginning”.

I have thought about that Neutral Zone a lot in relationship to the athletes at the Olympics. What happens in 18 months time when it is all over… when no one calls anymore and no one wants anymore of your presence? For the moment you can shout at the top of your lungs “YAH!” but do that in 18 months time and the only part that you may play is King Kong in a B movie.

How will they handle it? The Neutral Zone could be long a terrible without help.

Someone told me that after he went unemployed – people called him for the first few weeks then it all stopped. No more calls. He said that he felt like he had leprosy or something – people avoided him on every side. It may have been the hardest part of not being wanted anymore… having no meaning… no purpose and left to you own.

Pastors are a whole lot more like Olympians than they may think. Each sermon is a 100 Meter possibility and some are 3 km runs. Each Pastorate is like an eternal Olympic training period with one big game at that end. You are never sure what will happen just around the bend or after the next few months.

The part that is unlike the Olympian is that our manager/coach is God and he has a bigger plan.

Listening to the plans of my nephew Zach Bell has been a good example for me. He is not as noisy as Phelps. He has quiet plans in place and he is listening to his coaches. Immediately after the Olympics he will begin working toward 2012 in London, England. Providing the sponsors that he has developed over these last years continue to support him – he will go on. But at a ripe age of 25 years old that will make him 29 – and he didn’t get a medal – he placed 7th.

Now – how much is that like you and me? You and I are now older. You are not known now for the original “Gold Medal” that you once won. Your shelf life is short in terms of the next big adventure. Then the gentle words, from a loving daughter comes your way… “It’s okay Dad will take care of you.”

My reply is “NOT!” – but I know who will… and He is my Coach!

~ Murray Lincoln ~
Resources...
Zach Bell video - from TV report- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzt1pDU06Xc

Article by Daniel Dale – Staff Reporter – The Star
http://www.thestar.com/article/480041

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Coach that Believed in His Kids

I bet no one ever heard of Joe Sullivan – up to last evening. From his appearance on the TV screen last night, he appeared as a bearded and jovial fellow. He is a High School Coach in Hazelton, B.C. – a rural area of this great province. In fact I bet very few people have heard of Hazelton, B.C. either before listening to Joe Sullivan last evening.

The CBC talked to Joe because of one of his former students, Carol Huynh – Canada’s Gold Medallist in the 2008 Olympic Women’s Wrestling.

Together with millions of others I watched earlier as Carol was presented with her Gold Medal and the Canadian anthem was played. Her tears were real and so were many of ours. This gal had worked so hard and now was being rewarded for all her hard work.

But at that very moment in Hazelton, Joe Sullivan and I dare say the entire town was absolutely beside themselves with joy. One of their little girls had struck Gold! The encouragement of Carol’s coach together with her family had made the difference. People believed in her and she had made it.

No wonder she cried as they played the anthem!

As Joe spoke by telephone to the CBC host he described how he had developed the local wrestling program in a school and school board that had no money for programs like this.

Joe told us how the students needed to wrestle against better competition – so they needed to travel out from Hazelton – which is a long ways from other major centers. So Joe organized the purchase of TWO VANS. Now I didn’t get it – if he paid for them himself or simply raised the money to buy them. The CBC dude was in a hurry to smile more at the camera… and didn’t pick up on that point.

Joe went on to describe how they had needed to raise money to pay for the travel. They did that by getting the students to use chainsaws and cut fire wood, then pick up and load firewood, then deliver firewood – making for stronger muscles.

As he spoke, the beautiful Carol Huynh, beamed from ear to ear, and flexed her muscles showing how she had lifted firewood as exercise.

My hat is off to Joe Sullivan and his many students that worked so hard over these years – quietly behind the scenes to give your kids a chance. Carol has made us all proud as Canadians… even me so far away in Peterborough, Ontario.

It may seem like a RANT at this point but…. I am bugged by the smiling faces and talking heads of the CBC reporters that go on and on about Mr. Phelps. Sure he is good…but there is so much more than the American Famously Charged athletes. Sure they are spectacular in their own right – but if you knew some of the stories that are Canadian through and through – you would grab them in a heart beat!

Now in my case I watch some American TV – duh! And not once did they mention a Canadian athlete. In fact they don’t broadcast when their own are not participating. They hang on every action and reaction of their Olympians. The other night they were covering the American Soft Ball Game. When a player came to do her part – the announcer mentioned that her parents were in the audience having traveled all the way from Kansas… and gave the parents names – something like “Tad and Shirley”… in fact in all the athletes they feature they have talked about all the support have been given!

Now I am delighted for Carol Huynh and her Gold – but more delighted for Joe Sullivan and his contribution. Joe you ROCK!

But at the same time I am typing this I am absolutely proud of Zach Bell – but I know I have told you that before… I know – I know…!

But behind Zach is Greig Bell, his dad that is a teacher in Watson Lake, Yukon. Greig is also the Coach for many sports in his small northern school. He taught Zach and many others how to wrestle and compete at their absolute best. He traveled with them hundreds and even thousands of miles to get the best opportunities! Greig’s story is even more amazing than Joe’s – in that I know it better for much longer. (Greig is my brother-in-law too) And Hey - I am proud of Greig and what he has done.

Add to that Karen Lincoln Bell, my little sister and Zach Bell’s mom, – I am ready to explode with pride. My little sister – believes in her kids. She lives in Whitehorse, Yukon and traveled all the way to Beijing to see her son do his stuff. She paid the big airfare and then the REALLY BIG HOTEL FARE – at $600 USD a night for at least a week. Add to that the nod off that she will experience while watching the events – with 12 hours difference – JET LAG is a night mare. She will fall asleep in a heart beat – even when she is chewing! But she believes in her son and has sacrificed a thousand times over to see him win.
Quite a few years ago when Zach was in University and wrestling on their Team (Calgary I think) – he discovered Cycling of all kinds. It was then that the conditioning that his dad Greig had helped so much – he was a natural fit for the bike and in wonderful shape.

Entering the Olympic field and then finally going to the Olympics - Zach had already ranked 10th in all of Canada and perhaps the world – in all his events. My mom told me about that because her “Pedal” magazine has the stories about Zach.

Reflections…
Today as I think of Joe Sullivan, Greig Bell, and Karen Lincoln Bell – I think of all the people behind the scenes that have made such a difference by believing in the little guys and gals that came to have fun.

Oh yes – that was another one of the wonderful things that Joe included in his sharing last night – the students had to have fun and everyone was welcome with no conditions placed on them. He believed in them.

These coaches and parents believed in the kid – believed that they would go somewhere – someday – AND THEY DID.

Now personally I had my Dad, Cliff Lincoln, then there was Alvin Klien – my Sunday School Teacher, then there was Mr. Dynna – my Gym Teacher, then there was Scottie – my Wrestling Coach, then there was Whitie – My Cross Country Coach – who had paddled completely across Canada in a canoe….. Then there was…..

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Joe Sullivan and Carol Huynh’s story

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Olympic Fever - Two of Zach Bell's Big Fans

The Clock was striking 6 AM. Grandma Lincoln was out of bed along with me to get a glimpse of the race. There on the Computer Screen was her grandson, Zach Bell, flying around the Velodrome in Beijing, China. It was the Men’s Cyclists Points Race going on in front of us – at a break neck speed.

This is perhaps one of those hidden stories that Big TV networks like CBC or NBC will never bother with. These athletes are not in the water nor in a boat, they do not have “human interest stories” fasten to them that thrill audiences. It is a small story with a gigantic background that may never be told. Let me tell it here.

Grandma Marion Nell Lincoln was born in a farm in southern Saskatchewan – in the small farm house a long way from anywhere. It was a cold January in 1921. She was the third child of Charlie and Emma Kirkpatrick – one of nine that they would have in that small farm house.

Though it was far from almost anywhere – it was the center of the world for our families. As Marion Nell would later marry Clifford, then go “home” often with her family to Truax, Saskatchewan – it became their center of the world as well. I was her first born and have known it as the center of the world for 64 years!

Growing up Marion Nell was an excellent baseball player. Many weekends she played with others in Soft Ball tournaments around the region. From her fellow players in the same league they chose some of the ladies to play in the famous women’s baseball league in the USA during World War 2 – from which “A League of Their Own” movie would be created.

Marion Nell Lincoln has always been active. So it stands to reason that her offspring and their offspring would be active too. But no one would every guess we would have an Olympian in our tribe. For me that is a BIG WOW! And as I stated on this Blog before – we are a little bit PROUD – DELIGHTED and THRILLED that one of us has worked so hard.

This morning was another WOW. There sitting in front of the Laptop Computer with Mouse in Hand was Marion Nell Lincoln – watching her Grandson Zach Bell – whiz around a track in Beijing China… at that very moment it was happening – on the other side of the world.

Do you know how far this scene is from 1921, a Cold January in a small farm house, 5 miles west of Truax, Saskatchewan? Do you know how far that is from Watson Lake, Yukon – where Zach Bell spent his years growing up? What are the possibilities of this Olympian coming from all of this? Hey – it may not turn your crank – but it has thrilled the Kirkpatrick Clan, the Lincoln Clan, the Bell Clan, the Lindsay Clan, the Rourke Clan, the Schindel Clan, and all the other clans that may be brought in by marriage. We are all thrilled to see “our boy” flying around that track.

The cool part is that Zach won the highest points on the 11th and 12th laps – as number one. They all kept going until three winners appeared with the highest number of points at the end of the ride.

Nope he wasn’t on the Podium at the end – but he is Number One in our Clans. Nope not on TV yet.– CBC is pretty much caught in promoting the American Athletes – just like the rest of the world. After all, the story is all about winning – right?

(NOTE ADDENDUM at 5:28 PM – CBC Web Site announced that ZACH BELL IS 7th in the WORLD – DOUBLE WOW!)

I bet you can guess who his Number One Fan is (other than his Dad, Greg and his Mom, Karen)… You betcha – Grandma Marion Nell Lincoln… and his second cousin Clifford – who is also very fast, a great Baseball Player, a super fast runner and the best wrestler in his cabin at Camp this summer!

We have caught Olympic Fever in Peterborough – a million miles from China! Go Zach GO!!!!

~ Uncle Murray Lincoln ~

Addendum

Llaneras win gold in men's cycling point race, Yukon's Bell 7th

Britain strikes gold in the men's individual pursuit, keirin finals
From CBC – Olympic Cycling Report
http://www.cbc.ca/olympics/cycling/story/2008/08/16/olympics-cycling-day8.html

Joan Llaneras of Spain won cycling gold in the men's points race at the Beijing Games on Saturday, while Britain capped a dominating day on the track with five medals at the Laoshan Velodrome.

Britain's Bradley Wiggins claimed gold in the men's 4,000-metre individual pursuit final, while countryman Steven Burke earned the bronze.

Also on Saturday, Englishmen Chris Hoy and Ross Edgar finished 1-2 in the men's keirin event, while Chris Newton captured bronze in the points race.

Llaneras took control of the 160-lap race in the second half and finished with 60 points, thrusting winning his third Olympic medal in the event.

Canada's Zach Bell of Watson Lake, Yukon, had a strong showing — earning 27 points to finish seventh.

Germany's Roger Kluge took the silver with 58 points, while Newton was third with 56 points.
It's the second gold medal in the points race for Llaneras, who became the Olympic champion at the 2000 Sydney Games. The Spaniard also took silver in the event at the Athens Games in 2004.

In the individual pursuit final, Wiggins clinched his second straight gold medal in a time of 4:16.977.

New Zealand's Hayden Roulston finished about 2.5 seconds behind Wiggins to earn the silver.

In the bronze medal race, Burke defeated Russia's Alexei Markov to earn the final spot on the podium.

Wiggins, a three-time world champion in the event, sent notice to the rest of the field in qualifying on Friday, when he set an Olympic record time of 4:15.031.

In the men's keirin event, Hoy captured the gold medal by edging out Edgar for gold, while Japan's Kiyofumi Nagai finished third to claim bronze.

The medal haul on the track is guaranteed to continue for Great Britain on Sunday, as Rebecca Romero and Wendy Houvenaghel posted the fastest times in the women's individual pursuit heats, guaranteeing gold and silver medals.

Romero advanced to Sunday's gold medal final with a time of 3:27.703, while Houvenaghel was second-fastest in 3:27.829.

Lesya Kalitovska of the Ukraine and New Zealand's Alison Shanks posted the next fastest times and will race for the bronze medal on Sunday.

5:28 PM From http://www.cbc.ca/olympics/cycling/story/2008/08/16/olympics-cycling-day8.html

Friday, August 15, 2008

The First Big Day

Two contrasts exist in our family… one is the people that love the Olympic coverage on TV…the other is the people that wish it was over.

Emma, our granddaughter, was sitting at the dinner table with head in her hands. Someone asked if we had seen the one race in the eight man, canoeing. Emma glared at her plate and said nothing. I asked what she upset about. Her answer was, “Olympics, Olympics, Olympics…nothing but Olympics!”

I got the answer that I needed. Too much Olympics… it seems to take over your whole day – during this past week.

In our family we have been waiting for news of how the men’s different cycling teams did. There is one guy by the name of Zach Bell that has kept us all at the TV and the News Media steadily. You see Zach is our family!!! He is my youngest sister’s son. And after all these years he has made it close to the top.

At some point during this 24 hour period – he is in his first Olympic race/races. Of we hope… but we do not have a clue. Something is happening and we don’t know….

Great Grandma Lincoln has been glued to her TV waiting for news of Zach, her grandson. She gets “Pedal Magazine” each month scanning for shots of her grandson.

It is been fun as we have waited for news of my sister arriving in China to see her son race. She is paying $600 US dollars a night for a hotel – that is exciting I guess – for seven nights. The hotel is 3 times as much as the airfare!!

The First Big Day is backed by years of hard work and practice. Each of the competitors are in the same position – working for years before one big race, one big moment.

My life is like that too… I have worked on all that I am for 64 years – for one moment, this afternoon or tomorrow morning, or one moment next week. I am not sure what it will be – or when – or how I will do… but I know that I must be ready to do my best.

Then when it is over I will be able to say, “I have run a good race…”

When I met with Zach about two years ago he had just come in after a 25 mile run on his bike. It was a cold day in the spring – with snow flurries whipping around – and he was steaming…. He was getting ready for today. That was over two years ago.

Imagine how life would be if we all set that much effort into what we do now for the moment two years from now? But Zach has been going hard for more than four years – maybe even 8 years…. His target has never been dropped – to be there this week – today and to try his hardest!!!

A lot of emphasis is placed on the Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals. But these little treasures are just small awards after the last race. Each one that has competed has won something for themselves.

When Zach returns to his home in Watson Lake, Yukon – he is a real hero. Everyone knows Zach. He is one of their own.

Gotta run now… more Olympics are on soon… and I have to work out some more today – getting ready for four years from now… Buff Puff Buff Puff…

~ Murray Lincoln ~
(Go Zach Bell Go!)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Shot of Silly

My daughter Dana said to Emma, my granddaughter, “Go ahead and ask Grandpa your question.”

Emma grinned at me and then asked, “Grandpa, if he is your cousin, why is his hair such a different colour from yours?” I grinned with her.

Emma had just met her brand new 2nd and 3rd cousins for the very first time. My cousin Perry Kirkpatrick, his wife Kat and their two kids, Neal and Sophie, had stopped in for a visit while on their holidays. We were now together as four families for a time of story telling, laughter and looking each other over.

I thought that Emma would be interested in meeting their kids. But her fascination was with my cousins rich head of dark red/brown hair…contrasted to her grandpa’s 99% white hair. If they are cousins how come they look so different? One is OLD and the other is YOUNG? Doesn’t make sense to a 9 year old! Her cousins are all about her age and they look like the same family. Grandpa and Perry are a whole generation apart!

Dinner together was pure fun. It was silliness ordered along with the food we ordered. Both Perry and I come form a long line of people that love to get together and laugh, telling crazy stories about back home – Truax and Regina, Saskatchewan. Perry grew up in a very small town – and because his dad, Neal, was the first person I ever worked for – there were lots of stories.

There is an age difference for sure. I graduated from High School the year Perry was born! Add to that I received a genetic heritage of our grandfather’s early white hair and Perry received his other grandfather’s redish coloured, thick hair.

We look different for sure – but we are a whole lot alike. We inherited the Kirkpatrick “silly and fun gene”.

It was so much fun to laugh deeply and tell funny stories.

At one point when I looked at Clifford my grandson and then at Neal, Perry’s son they were grinning and listening closely to one of my stories…that I had experienced when I was a boy their age. They were connecting to a past that they knew nothing of… Emma grinned from ear to ear – looking back and forth at Perry and me.

I told them of a story of how I had, along with another cousin Gene(just younger than me), taken Gene’s brother and wired him to an electric fence to get rid of “the little nuisance”! We knew we wouldn’t kill him – but rather just shock him a little… I was Clifford’s age when I did this to Wayne, Gene’s brother. Wayne was Neal’s age.

The story is too complicated here to write about… but the laughter was long and loud as I told them the part of the story where our Grandpa Kirkpatrick had asked Gene and I what we had done to Wayne that day – he said, “What did you do to that kid? I heard him screaming all the way from the barn a quarter mile away!!!?”

Yes – Yes I know that it was wrong to hurt a cousin that way…but… he was a pain – a real pain! Many YEARS later I did meet Wayne as an adult at a family reunion… I did apologize deeply as an ordained minister, fully repentant and deeply sorry (kind of) for what I had done. Wayne, who is 99% like a heavy set Biker Dude, grinned from ear to ear and answered, “Maybe that is why I can’t remember much…Ha Ha Ha!”

Clifford and Neal laughed deeply with my cousin Perry. Kat, Perry’s wife, just shook her head – happy that those days were long over. Clifford kept looking at his grandfather over and over again. Emma was still back on Perry’s hair colour.

A Shot of Silly is so great in the middle of a muddle. Life can be so serious and so impossible – but laughing is something that is a gift from God. And this Grandpa has enough silly and downright funny stories in his past life to make any grandkid, younger cousin, 2nd cousin and whole family laugh forever!!!

I am older now… and would never allow my grandkids to do the things that I did when I was their age. The experiments with… oops… not allowed to tell that story…. the time that we ….oops that one is out too… and remember when we…. Oops again.

I know, I know…act your age you silly old, man! For goodness sake act like the white hair, respected Grandfather you are….

I can’t because a Shot of Silly runs through my blood veins – and it feels so good!

How about you? When is the last time you laughed? Or is your middle of the muddle too impossible to see silly? Come on LIGHTEN UP!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Another Side of the Mountain

“There will always be another reality to make fiction of the truth we think we’ve arrived at.” ~ Christopher Frye

These words jumped from the page of the book I am reading. Frye is an English playwright and with this simple statement he caught my attention.

I love climbing hills and mountains. Hong Kong was a perfect place to do this. Newfoundland was another super place to climb as well. In both places I did this to kill time and get away from the roar of life below.

When I read the story of Jesus he did this as well. He withdrew to a quiet place, climbed a hill to pray – or be alone.

In Hong Kong there was one range that we climbed from time to time. When you arrived at the top you could see forever it seemed. There below you was another valley, then another valley leading up to another peak of the next mountain. Usually one peak was enough on a hot day with complaining teenage daughters.

But the feeling that I would love to see what is on the other side of the next mountain peak would never leave/has never left. You can see for so far, but when you arrive on top on the second peak you can see even further.
In Hong Kong this was especially true of Lion Rock Mountain(photo above) – which was right up and behind our apartment complex. As we climbed to the top and then faced East and a bit North, there was the next peak and the next part of a rambling range(below) that seemed to go forever. As we walked along that range the roar of the city was way down to the right side, the wilderness and more mountain peaks were to the left. To the left there were places that few Hong Kong residents had ever seen. It was truly a wilderness in the heart of Biggest Little country in the world.
In Newfoundland many of the small villages and towns were the same. The lower areas near the bay were settled….with roads lined with small houses. Sometimes the town would be two miles long and about 100 feet deep. It was like a string of Pearls from the top of the high hills that cuddled it.

At the top of these hills/ranges you could see forever…out to the open water and then to the far reaching wilderness inland.

My hill/mountain climbing always left me with the simple thought that Frye states… “There will always be another reality to make fiction of the truth we think we’ve arrived at.”

Life has been a little like that too. What I fear doesn’t happen. There is only another something up ahead that is different or the same than what was….but it becomes an “is”.

When you go through difficult times – it seems that it will get worse. When there are good times it seems it will always be good. But the perception of what will be will change when I get to that next peak… the next range top… or even the gorgeous valley floor.

In reverse I look back thinking that what if… Where is that one that we once knew... someone that was once close to us is gone? It never works… other than on FaceBook now…and people are different even there.

I think I am getting the idea now. The NOW is more important than what could have been, what might have been, or what was or wasn’t happening way back when. Happy or harsh memories – whatever they were… are only that – memories. Some will fade and others will resurface – but they are not included in my NOW. NOW is where I live… and NOW is what I need to deal with.

Some of the old memories will haunt me and even immobilize me.

I have an old Spark Coil from a Model T Ford Car that is from 1924. I held it the other day and it brought back huge memories of my very first car… my1924 Model T Ford… and my Dad and the age that I was and all the work that I put into the restoration of that old car before selling it for $125. Man what a rush. The thoughts were good and bad.

But I can’t live with holding that Old Spark Coil. I live holding NOW.

I can’t live holding “What If” either – NOW is more important…and NOW is slipping away so fast that I wonder what happened. I am almost afraid to go to sleep – because NOW will be gone.
A transition has an End, a Neutral Zone and a New Beginning.

WOW!

~ Murray Lincoln ~