July 21, 2017

New Testament Vs. Qu'ranic Treatment of Women

If God and Allah are the same person, why the sudden change in the treatment of women? It would seem that God, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, should arbitrarily change marriage and divorce laws.

Jesus ratified the ancient covenant of marriage when he said in Matthew 19:5-6 (KJV), "And said, 'For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?' Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."

This prompted the Pharisees to ask why Moses allowed divorce to happen. Jesus replied in Matthew 19:8 (KJV), "He saith unto them, 'Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.'"

Islam, on the other hand, affirms polygamy. Sura 4:3 sets out how many wives a man may have. "If you fear you cannot act fairly towards the
orphans—then marry the women you like—two, or three, or four. But if you fear you will not be fair, then one, or what you already have. That makes it more likely that you avoid bias.

And speaking of divorce, the Qu'ran also allows it for the sake of dissatisfaction. Sura 66:5 says, 'Perhaps, if he divorces you, his Lord will give him in exchange wives better than you: submissive, believing, obedient, penitent, devout, fasting—previously married, or virgins."

The New Testament doesn't have any instruction regarding dividing worldly inheritance. Even so, Jesus and the apostles focused on the eternal inheritance in heaven. Luke 12:13-14 (KJV) states, "And one of the company said unto him, 'Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.' And he said unto him, 'Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?'"

But look what the Qu'ran says about dividing the earthly inheritance. Sura 4:11 states, "Allah instructs you regarding your children: The male receives the equivalent of the share of two females. If they are daughters, more than two, they get two-thirds of what he leaves. If there is only one, she gets one-half. As for the parents, each gets one-sixth of what he leaves, if he had children. If he had no children, and his parents inherit from him, his mother gets one-third. If he has siblings, his mother gets one-sixth. After fulfilling any bequest and paying off debts. Your parents and your children—you do not know which are closer to you in welfare. This is Allah's Law. Allah is Knowing and Judicious."

And look at what sura 4:34 says about the treatment of women. "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, as Allah has given some of them an advantage over others, and because they spend out of their wealth. The good women are obedient, guarding what Allah would have them guard. As for those from whom you fear disloyalty, admonish them, and abandon them in their beds, then strike them. But if they obey you, seek no way against them. Allah is Sublime, Great."

But Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:25 (KJV), "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"

I could write so much more on this topic but this post is getting too long. Instead, I'll save it for my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? People need to understand that the God of the Bible and Allah are diametrically opposite to each other.

Canadian Beauties ... by Jocelyn Faire

This month I'm sharing some of my favourite Canadian Beauties ... 
Canadian pride may not rest on our sleeves, but it resides deeply in our hearts. Steve Miller

Canola field in bloom

Early spring crocuses

Lady Slippers in Manitoba

Manitoba flax field

When I lived in Australia I paid over a hundred dollars for a flower tour that featured wild orchids. I never felt more Canadian than when I lived away. Since my return to Canada, I have grown in appreciation for our native flowers. 

Wild orchids near Canmore Ab

Black bear in meadow near Waterton Ab

Another canola field with Rocky Mountain backdrop

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. Anaïs Nin

Wishing each of you a wonderful summer and many chances to get out and enjoy the beauty of our country in your own area. 

All photos by Jocelyn, who enjoys flowers wherever she goes! The writing is taking a back seat at the moment.

July 20, 2017

Oh Canada, Home and Treasured Land by Joylene M. Bailey

I wrote the following for my own blog in celebration of Canada's 150th.  And it is perfect for the topic this month:

We camped.

That’s what we did every summer when I was growing up.
My birthday is at the end of July and I don’t remember many birthdays at home. Our temporary home was a used tent trailer.

I didn’t know it at the time, but my parents were giving my brothers and me a priceless treasure. We traveled from coast to coast. And as I look back on it now, I understand where my love of this great country – Canada – comes from. It comes from those summers of traveling with my family.

Every year, Dad would plot our trips. He usually started a month in advance. I remember him at the kitchen table with maps in front of him, and that camping reference book – I think it was from CAA.  It listed campgrounds, how many sites they had, how much they charged, whether or not they had flush toilets and showers, etc.

Back in those days we couldn’t go online to check it out or to register. We didn’t call ahead.  We just showed up, expecting a good spot. And we usually got it. I remember only one time when we arrived to a completely full campground, and we set up in a gravel pit instead. I also remember many times that Dad would leave our cash payment (anywhere from $6 - $12 over the years) in an unlocked wooden box when we left. I doubt if you could do that nowadays.
(Mom tells me that our first year of camping we bought a National Park sticker for $7 and the total camping fee we had all summer was $20.)

Mom didn’t relish getting ready for camping. When we got older, my brothers and I had to pack our own clothing, and entertainment for car travel, but she had her same lists from year to year … everybody’s clothing, toiletries, kitchen gadgets, linens, bedding, pots and pans, games, first aid, food. And she spent about a week shopping, gathering, and packing. But she did enjoy the camping once all of that was taken care of.

I am so grateful they took the time for this because as I look back now, I understand. I understand it was a great undertaking, but also a great privilege to experience my country. I understand now that not everybody had this chance. When you’re a kid you just assume everybody does what you do. But I’ve learned that not everyone grew up with the amazing opportunity I had to absorb my own vast country. Thanks, Mom & Dad.

Barkerville, BC

Drumheller, AB

What wonderful memories we made:

Panning for gold in Barkerville, BC
Riding a dinosaur in Drumheller, AB
Visiting the RCMP training grounds in Regina, SK
Touring the International Peace Gardens in Boissevain, MB
Feeling the spray of Niagara Falls, ON
Roaming the halls of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, ON
International Peace Gardens
Exploring in Old Quebec City and the Plains of Abraham, QE
Watching the Reversing Falls Rapids in Saint John, NB
Climbing up Citadel Hill in Halifax, NS
Marching at the Fortress of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island, NS
Pretending at Green Gables, PEI

These were fun tourist attractions full of history and fascination. But more than that, I learned to appreciate the geography of this wonder-inspiring country.

Columbia Ice Fields, AB/BC

I’ve clambered over the smooth stoned Pacific coast and listened to waves lapping the shore. I’ve wandered the red sand beaches of Prince Edward Island and breathed in the healing salty air. I’ve played in cool lakes that were so clear I could see the bottom through four feet of water. I’ve run screaming through long grassy fields scaring up grasshoppers, squinted across sun-skimmed ice fields, and splashed in hot springs surrounded by mountains whose crowns disappeared into clouds.

All before I grew up and left home.
What a gift!

Rushing River Provincial Park, ON

And what a treasure, this country.

Oh Canada! I am so blessed to call it my home and native land.  


Joylene remembers childhood summers from her home in Edmonton where she lives with her Cowboy, Babe, and a cat named Calvin. Find more of her writing on her blog, Scraps of Joy.

July 18, 2017

God Bless Canada - Gloria Guest

I am both a third and fourth generation Canadian on my paternal and maternal parent’s sides respectively. The backstories of my ancestor’s arrivals and lives in this country are varied and fascinating. My paternal great grandparents emigrated from Russia (German ancestry) and my paternal and maternal great grand-parents and grandfather emigrated from England. My German ancestors were displaced from Germany into Russia during the time of Catherine the Great and after many years of hardship there and having their land taken from them, immigrated to Canada. They led difficult lives, clearing bush to farm in the Tawatinaw Alberta area; my father only receiving a grade seven education when he was removed from school to help on the farm.

My maternal grandfather came over to Canada on a boat from England as a very young boy to join family.  His parents had both died and his older siblings had no desire to keep him. An artistic man, he spent most of his adult years slightly lost and sad.  I’ve inherited his wallet from the depression years containing an unemployment ticket and often wonder about this shadow of a man I have barely heard a word about; his hopes, his dreams and his feelings as he stood in the unemployment lines with a family of six children to care for, wishing I could reach back to him to comfort him and let him know that his life did matter.

Our oldest son is the fourth generation farming the family land on his father’s side in Saskatchewan. Our younger son serves in the Canadian Armed Forces. My husband and I farmed for 17 years before leaving and now own our own business. Even in writing this, I can sense the tracings of generations running back to what helped form each of us today. I’m proud to see the same endurance and tenacity shining from our sons eyes; true Canadians, strong and free, standing on guard for their country.

My husband and I met at Bible College where our faith journey’s intersected. He had received a heritage of faith from both sides of his family, whereas mine came mainly down from my mother’s side. She had attended Christian High school in Three Hills Alberta. Her mother was a strong, enduring Christian lady and to this day I credit my grandmothers’ prayers for the most likely reason that I am still here today. I received Christ as a young girl at a Bible Camp but returned home to an extremely dysfunctional home. Most of my adult years have been a wandering of my own; internally. Unlike my artistic grandfathers for sure, but I can’t help but see the similarities of searching and longing for something that often seemed elusive.

 Still, like my ancestors, I endure and feel blessed for how far I have come in this journey called life. I strived to raise my own children in faith and was blessed to be the one to lead them both to Christ at a young age. Now they are on their own paths.  They have their own discoveries to make, their own wanderings, which as a mother I can’t help but pray will not be as difficult as my own. However, in looking back at my own and those of my ancestors, it provides me with a sense of God’s abiding presence in each one’s life and a knowledge that He will always be pursuing my children too and ready to bestow his Grace. Life was not easy for my ancestors, nor myself, yet they and now I, move forward.

I have been richly blessed in the past few years with three beautiful, joy-inspiring grand-daughters. I look at them and wonder, what will life be like for them? As Canadians? Will our flag still fly as high and proud as it has in the past?

I am a prolific news follower. I cannot go a day without reading up on what is going on in our world and if I do, I feel out of touch and ill informed. While I recognize that I must be careful where I receive that news from and to not only hear the negative, it is just too hard to ignore the fact that as a country we don’t seem to be going in a good direction; morally, spiritually or in many other ways. I often have a profound sadness and concern when thinking of what life may be like for future generations. I feel certain that it’s not the life most of our ancestors were looking for, nor what our brave soldiers fought for.

But before I am a Canadian, I am a Christian. And that is where my hope for the future comes from. That is where my prayers for our nation and my dear, sweet grand-daughters comes from. God, the maker of heaven and earth and the one who made this great nation, is Sovereign over all. May He keep our land, Glorious and Free.

God Bless Canada.

July 17, 2017

Privilege by Rohadi

“To the privileged, equality looks like oppression.” - Unknown

I don't know who originally penned that quote, nor who said it, but I have been reflecting on the words, particularly in our current world.

I also don't know if this is accurate, but it seems the rhetoric in Western developed nations has become exceedingly polarized.

We're fighting to decide who's in and who's out. It's tiresome to listen to conversations that quickly descend into entrenched ideologies.

Jesus has something to say about the outsiders, although those who claim him often mix in criteria of their own.

Knowing I can't change anybody's mind, what I can do is reflect on my own.

I am a product of privilege.

Coming to this country as a tot opened the door to opportunity. That privilege, however, has also come at the expense of someone else, as often privilege does.

Canada150 is a story that celebrates a strong nation. It's being challenged by those who fight to retain what comfort and privilege they have in fear those who are different may gain a little more. We struggle to keep our identity by unknowingly, or knowingly, burying someone else's.

I think about these things.

In order to establish a way to reject the outsider, one needs to ignore stories of those who've come before there was even a Canada. Here's an old professor of mine talking about some of those stories, and the people behind them.


Visit Rohadi at his blog. Check out his adult colouring book, Soul Coats.

July 16, 2017

God Keep Our Land Glorious and Free! By Nina Faye Morey

How Can You Tell Someone’s Canadian?
(Answer Below)

a) They like to finish their sentences with, “Eh?”
b) You accidentally bump them and they say, “Sorry!”
c) You say you went to Timmy’s and they don’t ask, “Timmy who?”
d) All of the above.

Celebrating Canada’s Creation

Happy Birthday, Canada! It’s hard to believe you’re 150 years young. A milestone called a sesquicentennial (SES-kwuh-sen-TEN-nee-yul). In 1867, the British North American Act united four provinces to form the Dominion of Canada and a new baby nation (now the world’s second largest) was born! It took its name from the Iroquois word Kanata, meaning “village.”

Canada’s National Flag

Until I was twelve, our nation proudly hoisted the Canadian Red Ensign on its flag poles. Like the majority of Canadians at the time, I saw no reason to change it. In fact, I’d already become quite attached to this national symbol. But after much controversy, our leaders of the day chose to replace it with the Maple Leaf. This simple, stark flag didn’t appeal to me at first. But over the years it’s grown on me, and I now proudly display it on Canada’s birthday and on my luggage whenever I’m travelling.

Celebrating Canada 150 in Our Glorious Land

Our family plans to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday by taking advantage of Parks Canada’s free National Park pass to visit the Canadian Rockies. I never tire of their majestic splendor.

I’ve Been Almost Everywhere

One goal on my bucket list is to travel across our glorious land. My son and I have taken three WestWorld Tours together. Our first was to Churchill in 2014. On a Hudson Bay whale watching tour, we enjoyed a frolicking pod of belugas. We also spotted some polar bears on the shore, although it’s unusual to see them in the spring. During a tundra buggy tour, we adored a seal sunning itself on a rock out in the Bay.

In 2015, we took our second tour to Victoria. It was my third visit to this glorious destination. My son hadn’t travelled there since he was three, so it was all new to him. We loved visiting the Butchart Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Craigdarroch Castle, and several other tourist attractions.

In 2016, we travelled with WestWorld to Haida Gwaii. With its unique flora and fauna, this archipelago is a fascinating destination to visit. A couple of highlights were the Golden Spruce Trail and Balance Rock.

Counting up the Canadian communities I’ve visited was fun and enlightening. I’ve been to many places in Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Ontario. I especially enjoyed travelling through the Canadian Shield and the Canadian Tundra by train—two fascinating vistas.

Canadian Places I Still Hope to Visit

Newfoundland and Labrador (especially Newfoundland's historic Viking village, L'Anse aux Meadows, in honour of my Viking ancestors, and Gros Morne National Park—both UNESCO World Heritage Sites); PEI; Nova Scotia; Ottawa’s Parliament Hill & Parliament Buildings; Niagara Falls, Ontario; Quebec; the Yukon and NWT (Whitehorse and Yellowknife).

Incredible Canadians to Celebrate

Sir John A. Macdonald, Alexander Graham Bell, Dr. Frederick Banting, Laura Secord, Tecumseh, Billy Bishop, Tommy Douglas, Terry Fox, Michael J. Fox, Rick Hansen, Margaret Atwood, Alice Munroe, Roberta Bondar, Julie Payette, Chris Hatfield.

Canadian Principles to Celebrate

Canada ranks high in the international community for its democracy, multiculturalism, civil liberties, economic freedom, freedom of speech and religious freedom. US News & World Report’s annual “Best Countries” survey ranked Canada the second best country in the world for the second consecutive year and first in its “Quality of Life” category.

O Canada!

Answer: (d) All of the Above

Photo Credits: © 2017, Nina Faye Morey

July 15, 2017

An Unexpected Celebration - Tracy Krauss

I love Canada Day and this year I was especially looking forward to the '150' celebrations. I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes down to it. Every Canada Day since I can remember I've dressed in red and white (and made the rest of the family dress appropriately, too!) and gone to a parade, a community BBQ, a festival in the park, or whatever else was happening in the community we happened to be in that year. I've had the privilege of living in a lot of different places and each town or city puts their own unique spin on their Canada Day celebrations.

Who can forget the community fish fry in Fort Smith, NWT? White fish from Great Slave Lake served hot to about 2000 residents. Yum! One of the most special Canada Days I ever experienced was the year we took our family to Ottawa - part of a cross Canada tour. It was amazing to be part of the crowd at the concert on Parliament Hill and see the fireworks over the Parliament buildings - things I had only ever seen on TV.

This year our plan was to travel to Fort St John, BC (about two hours from our home) to spend the day with our daughters and grandchildren. There were lots of special 'Canada 150' events planned and we wanted to share it with our family.

And then our plans were changed.

The Sunday previous our son was in a serious car accident on the Pine Pass. (A particularly winding section of highway in northern BC.) His injuries turned out to be minor, although he is still dealing with various aches and pains while waiting for plastic surgery on his face and nose, which were badly smashed. The driver wasn't so lucky. He died at the scene - the single dad of a 12 year old son.

Dan was our neighbour from directly across the street. We often bantered back and forth, borrowed each other's tools, and generally had a good time teasing one another. He was just that kind of guy. Always friendly and willing to lend a hand.  In fact, he brought my son more than one meal while I was in the hospital in Vancouver this spring (another story entirely) and got my son a job working on a crew replacing old rail lines. They were on their way to work together when the accident happened.

My husband was asked to conduct Dan's funeral service, even though Dan had not been a church goer. They'd had enough conversations over the fence about God and spiritual matters that his family felt he was the only choice. The date they chose? July 1st.

Of course there was no way to refuse. We didn't want to refuse! Dan was a good neighbour and friend, and the fact that he was dead while our son survived, made us profoundly grateful.

We did manage to see some fireworks later that evening, but Canada 150 pretty much passed us by. In the end it was still a memorable day, although not for the reasons we had hoped. It brought into stark clarity how blessed we are, not only because we live in such a great nation, but because God is sovereign.

July 14, 2017

Celebrating Faith During #Canada150 - By Ruth L. Snyder

In 1977 our family left Southern Africa, where my parents served as missionaries, and settled in Three Hills, Alberta, for what we thought would be a one year furlough. Instead, we stayed in this small town on the prairies, which provided many opportunities for my personal faith to grow and flourish. Along with memorizing hundreds of Scripture verses, studying the Bible, listening to world-renowned missionaries like Dr. Helen Roseveare, and experiencing majestic music nights, I discovered not everyone wanted to follow Jesus Christ. (In grade 7 some of my classmates gave me the nickname, "Saint R.B.") During my grade 8 year I renewed my commitment to Jesus Christ and was baptized.

In grade 9, I entered Prairie High School. That year our language arts teacher asked us how she could pray for us. I was shy, so I asked her to pray that God would give me boldness and help me welcome all the new classmates who had joined us. I also joined the high school band. Our conductor was a former RCMP member who walked through the halls of our school with no emotion 😐 on his face. I made it my goal to make him smile every time he saw me. After several attempts, I was successful 😃.

High School provided many more opportunities for me to grow in my faith. I enjoyed the weekly youth events, including the "Sing-and-Share" nights where we were encouraged to share what God was teaching us. In grade 10 I thrived under the instruction of my volleyball coach. I related well to her because she wanted to be back in South America where she had served as a missionary, and I was still working through not being able to return to Southern Africa. At the end of grade 10, I spent the summer at Ross Haven Bible Camp as a junior counsellor. The campers challenged me to explain my faith clearly. I also learned how to play almost any chorus by ear on the piano as I was the only pianist at camp and printed music was not always available. One week I received a phone call from my parents, informing me that our family was moving away from Three Hills. I was devastated! I prayed that God would allow me to stay at Prairie High School. He answered by having my grandparents offer to host my sister and I so that we could attend school there.

However, the next year my parents wanted us home. My sister and I attended Hines Creek School - a small K-12 public school north of Grand Prairie. What a culture shock! I was the only one who had not been in the class since Kindergarten. I missed my friends. I grieved not being able to graduate with them. I cried myself to sleep. I prayed that God would bring at least one person to saving faith that year. God answered when one of my sister's classmates accepted Jesus Christ as her Saviour.

There are many more memories I could share of Canada and opportunities to grow in my faith. However, my prayer is that God will help each of us to continue to grow in our faith, that we will be lights, and that God will keep Canada glorious and free.

How are you celebrating Canada150?

July 12, 2017

The Simple Faith of Sir Leonard Tilley - guest post by Violet Nesdoly

Sir Leonard Tilley still had the previous day’s meeting on his mind when he picked up his Bible one morning in1866 to read his customary chapter. The Confederation fathers’ discussions about what to call the new union of territories they were forming had gone no where. The question of what to call this new country laid heavy on his mind.

His Bible reading that day took him to Psalm 72. Verse eight snagged his attention: “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth” - Psalm 72:8 KJV. 

One word jumped out at him. “Dominion.” What a splendid name to give Canada!

When he made that suggestion at the meeting that day, the others agreed. And that’s how our country came to be called the Dominion of Canada.

However, the presence of that Scripture passage in our Canadian heritage doesn’t stop there. In 1921 the architect of Ottawa’s Peace Tower, John A. Pearson, commissioned the words “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea” be engraved over the East window (along with engravings of Psalm 72:1 and Proverbs 29:18 over the South and West windows). 

As well, Canada’s coat of arms includes the Latin words: “A MARI USQUE AD MARE.” This  is a phrase that comes from the Latin Vulgate translation of Psalm 72:8. 

Sir Tilley’s story speaks to us of how God’s word can impact our lives. I love how this founding father of Canada retained his simple faith. It included reading the Bible every day and paying attention to what it said to the extent of applying its words and ideas to the problems and challenges of his life. 

I love too how the Scripture he claimed for Canada that day is now part of our story, engraved on one of our most iconic buildings, and woven into our very identity on the Coat of Arms. 

Let’s similarly read the Bible regularly, and then take God’s words with us into our daily lives. Let’s look to them for answers to everyday challenges. Who knows the effect they will have as they ripple through our lives and through us to our families, neighbourhoods, cities, provinces, country, even the world!  

Bio: Violet Nesdoly lives in Langley, B.C. She blogs daily devotions at Other Food Daily Devos, and shares book reviews and a weekly article about Bible art journaling at VioletNesdoly.com.


Canada: Portraits of Faith - Michael D. Clarke, Reel-to-Reel Ministries, 1998, p. 61. 

Samuel Leonard Tilley - wikipedia

“Canada’s Parliament Buildings Remind Us of God” by Douglas Cryer

“Ad Mari Usque Ad Mare” - Nathan Betts on Canada 150 (RZIM regional Canadian blog)

July 11, 2017

Canada: My Great Outdoors by Sharon Espeseth

Free Photos

For this topic, I'm recalling some of my outdoor experiences somewhere in Canada. Although I am not an outdoor guru, I've enjoyed some wonderful times and special moments en plein aire.

My Family Home
* Making mud pies
* Using mud to make our skin dark
* Ice skating with bob skates on our lake at Lake View Farm
* Snow angels and snowmen
* Playing with my sister
Free Photo: istock.com

Homesteading in east central Saskatchewan
* Evening walks with our Dad while Mom helped out teacher with personal care
* The raft Dad made for us that we poled around our small, fresh-water pond
* Trying to build a log cabin out of skinny poplars
* Riding toboggan behind our horse
* Swinging from tree to tree on our way to school

* Bike riding through Glenora where streets were paved
* Big family picnic in Victoria Park on Victoria Day
* Horseback riding in White Mud Valley
* Late evening skating on the oval or at White Mud
* Playing ball in our front yard and batting the ball through the picture window

Camping with our daughter, Jenny and her family
Blueberry picking near Lac la Biche
Bible Camp at Pigeon Lake
* Campfire
* Rugged cabins and outdoor facilities
* Swimming, walking by the water, boating
* Being outside much of the day

* Camping before there were campgrounds
* Hiking to Horseshoe Falls
* Wading across mountain streams
* Mountain climbing

Dunvegan to Peace River on a Home-made Raft
* Labour Day Weekend with church youth group
* About 140 km from Dunvegan to town of Peace River
* Eating on board
* Camping in the hills beside the river
* Singing; bass fiddle made from inverted tub, hockey stick and cord, guitars

Camping at Okanagan Falls, B.C.
* Free camping but no amenities
* Bathing and shampooing with cold water
* Cheap holiday and good weather after six weeks of summer school at U of A

Camping Across Canada with Teaching Buddies
*All the way to Maritimes
* Pitching our tent in the pitch black
* Wind came up through night and water was rising
* Morning light shows we are on the very edge of the Bay of Fundy
* Niagara Falls--say no more

Camping with the Norwegian and the Kids
* Heinz Creek Crossing
* Slave Lake after the Flood in the 80s
* In the mountains

Visiting Alberta's National Parks
* Waterton, Jasper, Banff
Sunset Through the  Jackpines
* Nature's playgrounds

Camping with 7 Kids and without the Norwegian
* Discovered why Thunder Lake is so named.
* Didn't get to relax as I had planned

Farming with the Norwegian and the Kids
* Lots of outdoor activities
* Sunrises, Sunsets
* Gardening--vegetables, fruit, flowers, enough to supply friends and neighbours
* Shovelling snow
* Quad and skidoo rides
* Walking
* Bird Watching

Skiing in the Mountains
* Shutting down the mountain when I didn't get off at Easy Dismount
The five of us beside Maligne River

* Skiing with our kids whizzing past me

Family at Black Cat Ranch and Maligne Canyon
* Horseback riding in the foothills
* Hiking
* Walking

Vancouver, Victoria, Vancouver Island
* With and without the kids
* Butchart Gardens
* Ferry rides

Closer to Home
* Calaway Park
* Calgary Zoo

Grandkids Caleb and Logan make their own style
teepee of lodgepole pines
Passion Play in Drumheller
* Parades

Adventures with the Grandkids
* Blueberry picking north of Lac la Biche
Blueberry Picking--Yum!
* In the Sandhills by Barrhead
* Near Fort McMurray

Bus Tour of Maritimes with the Norwegian
*Sight seeing

At the Highland Village in Nova Scotia with the Norwegian

I have not exhausted this list, but it reminds me how much I enjoy being outside, how much I need to be outside, and how blessed we are to have freedom of moving about. In every one of the activities above, I could include appreciating the beauty of God's creation in the land, sea, sky, wildlife, and people. Most of all nature encourages me to  commune with the Creator of this planet and of Canada, the place where we are blessed to live.

* Research is showing that our moms were right when they encouraged us to go out and play
* Being outside can improve our health in every way: physically, emotionally, spiritually, and

With a friend I met while walking Fisherman's Wharf in Victoria

No matter where you live in Canada, nature is waiting for you. I am writing this to remind myself that I can improve my focus, my memory,  my heart rate, my productivity, my mental health . . . by getting outside where I can enjoy what Canada and the Good Lord have to offer us.

God is present in our outdoor ventures. He can restore our souls, if we let him.