Thursday, September 27, 2007

Red-Winged Blackbirds

(no photo credit for this one - I found it on a bird identification site - hopefully not violating someone's copyright)

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." James 1:17

Something amazing just happened in my backyard. My husband just came home & was getting something back there & called me to 'come quick' from inside the house. When I got outside, the sound was almost deafening. There, in the elms of our yard and our neighbour's yard were dozens of red-winged blackbirds calling & singing at their loudest. Now, a bit of history here...this particular bird call is my favourite of all birds. I love the sound of them and its one I recognize anywhere. To hear so many of them at once was spectacular. I grabbed a patio chair & just sat down in awe! At first I thought there was maybe 20 or 30 of them, then it seemed to me there was at least 50 of them flitting back & forth between the trees and over my head, making that precious sound.

Lawrence called it "A Gathering", like they were all getting together to discuss their next big move. I googled this and said that in the fall (which is now) these birds gather together in LARGE numbers searching for food & stick together.

What is somewhat odd, is that usually, the red-winged blackbird hangs out in marshy & pond areas, sometimes in fields. They like to cling to reeds & cat-tails and I know I will always hear one at Hayne's Point because there are LOTS of reeds & water grasses there for them to cling to. Maybe once in a while I might hear one pass by my yard, but dozens and dozens of them, just for a few minutes, it was truly amazing. Like they stopped by just for me.

Even the smallest things can be looked at like a gift. It was a treat. It made me happy. I was filled with awe. How can that NOT be a gift from God for me to experience?

Still reading in James, this is a verse that lots of people quote but few of us probably understand the magnitude of. EVERY good gift is from God. Not just a few of them, all of them. And the perfect gifts, like a calm sunny morning, golden fall leaves, or even a man-made delicious pie...ok, likely WOMAN-made. When they are good, they are of God, they are of heaven. Big or small!

I thank the Lord for a small bird that brings me joy with its song, I thank the Lord that a multitude of these birds made a stop in my yard to bring me awe!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Trials = Patience??

"Count it all joy when you fall into various trial, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." ~James 1: 2-3

The book of James has been "In My Face" a lot for the past two weeks. My sis-in-law Kathy and I have been discussing it quite a bit as we seek patience for the things in our lives. And then again, James came up in Sunday's sermon.

I guess this is a sign for me to get serious about what James had to say. So I'll start at the start. And it is my goal to memorize these two verses.
I will memorize the above version - New King James - because that is my most used Bible - but I also like how the NIV says it "2-Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3-because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." I'd like to persever through my trials AND come out with patience! And also the version from The Message "Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors."

No matter what version it comes from - we are to be grateful and HAPPY to face trials & challenges because it will strengthen us if we can have patience, perseverance & faith!

When you're waiting for something, when things aren't going your way or when you are feeling like your are going through something with no end in sight, we start praying to God to speed things up. Time goes so slow, almost backwards, while we wait on Him to solve whatever it is we are waiting for, experiencing or facing! It can be hard to look beyond our own time frames & look to God's.

We might think that we have plenty of patience & that, OK God, you proved your point - here I am being patient - when really, He's only just begun this little life lesson of testing. Some of us Falter, Fume or Forget! All the wrong f-words for those of us who should be Focusing on FAITH. Faith that God's timing is better than our own. Faith that we are growing because of this. Faith that we can lean on Him when we are waiting! And Faith that all of these things are drawing us nearer to Him...which is the ultimate goal. So, despite of our impatience, when the trials come, we really SHOULD embrace them joyfully, like a gift that, though it may be hard, we are going to come out of it stronger & closer to God!

I can't say I'm excited about my trials or impatience, but I'm certain that God is with me while I wait on His time & that my faith can grow stronger as I look to him for the end of the test.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


My blogging friend SunnySusan has awarded me with this "You Make Me Smile Award"

This is what the person that created this award says about it- "the thing that I love most about blogging is that I learn so much about a person just by reading their blog. I have met MANY wonderful people with wonderful stories to tell,and I am grateful every day for each person that I have the pleasure of crossing paths in life with. I wanted to create something special for the people who have inspired me through their blogging; the stories they tell, and the lives that they lead with grace and dignity. I visit their blogs for inspiration and encouragement. Although there are MANY people I want to give this award to at this very moment, I am going to choose a couple bloggers:Please grab your badge and wear it(with a smile) proudly, and pass it on because you inspire and encourage me, thank you."

Although I haven't been blogging or even commenting much lately, I have been thankful to read many of your blogs & continue to enjoy them in my blogging absence.

So, now it is my turn to pass it on this award:
Almost all of your blogs make me smile on a daily basis, but these ones get my special award for today :)

LGS at Realm of the Lone Grey Squirrel - usually your blogs crack me up, other times they are serious and almost always informative and an interesting cultural look at Malaysia. I appreciate your blog!

Barb at I Am Mrs. Miles - I always learn & see things that make me smile on your blog

Amrita at Yesu's Garden - I so enjoy coming to your blog & learning about your culture, especially the things you are cooking. And your faith & compassion for your fellow man is so inspiring!

Karla at Looking Towards Heaven - I get giggles almost every time I read your blog about your family life and the antics of you and your kids. Thanks for sharing this glimpse into your world of smiles.

Voice of the Martyrs Update

When these updates come in, it always makes the woes & small problems of my own life seem small & meaningless. Praise God that I can live in Canada and don't have to face these kinds of things that many of our brethren are facing all over the world!

"Remember the prisoners as if chained with them and those who are mistreated, since you yourselves are in the body also." Hebrews 13:3

SOUTH KOREA UPDATE: Korean Hostages Told Convert to Islam or Die -“ British Broadcasting Corporation On September 12, South Korean Christian aid workers held hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan for six weeks, reported being beaten and ordered at gun point to convert to Islam, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). According to the BBC, the former hostages told a press conference they were made to work like slaves while in captivity. Jae Chang-hee told reporters, "We were beaten with a tree branch or kicked around. Some kidnappers threatened us with death at gunpoint to force us to follow them in chanting their Islamic prayer for conversion. I was beaten many times. They pointed a rifle and bayonet at me and tried to force me to convert." Jae Chang-hee added, "We lived like slaves. We had to level the ground for motorbikes, and get water and make a fire." BBC reported that Yu Jung-hwa said she thought she was going to die. "The most difficult moment, when I had a big fear of death, was when the Taliban shot a video. All 23 of us leaned against a wall and armed Taliban aimed their guns at us, and a pit was before me. They said they will save us if we believe in Islam. I almost fainted at the time and I still cannot look at cameras." Recalling how Pastor Bae Hyung-kyu was led away to his death, the BBC said Han Ji-young, in tears, added, "Bae didn't even look at us when he was leaving the room. He only said, 'Overcome with faith.'" Continue praying for God to touch the lives of these believers as they deal with their experience in Afghanistan. Pray God comforts the families of the two that were killed. Pray the testimony of these Christians will draw non-believers into fellowship with Him. Deuteronomy 28, Psalm 91
INDIA Christians Beaten by Militants in India “ VOM Sources
BANGALORE: On September 8, Pastor Angam Haokip was attacked by more than 30 men in the village of Geddalahalli, Bangalore. According to The Voice of the Martyrs' contacts in India, the men forced Pastor Haokip to stop his vehicle. VOM contacts reported, "They asked him if he was a pastor and when he said 'yes,' they pulled him out of his car. The men accused him of 'ruining' the nation and beat him in front of several witnesses. They tried to crush his legs with boulders and also kicked him in the neck." The pastor sustained severe injuries to his back and chest and his car was destroyed. When he tried to file a complaint with local police, it was rejected because the police said a complaint had been registered against him for negligent driving.

HYDERABAD: On September 9, Pastor Sudhakar and four Christians visiting from Singapore were attacked by members of Hindu militant groups while leading a worship service at Bethel Gospel Church in Amberpet, Hyderabad. According to, a report from the All India Christian Council, approximately 300 believers were gathered when the militants forcibly entered the church building and began to shout obscenities against Christianity. The intruders assaulted Pastor Sudhakar with a rod. Prior to the attack, the militants had filed a complaint with local police alleging the pastor and the Singapore team were involved in forcible conversion.Pray for healing for those injured in the attacks. Ask God to bless the ministry of these pastors and other Christians who are spreading the gospel in India. Pray God touches the lives of the persecutors and leads them to faith in Christ. Romans 8:11, Isaiah 40:31
CHINA UPDATE: House Church Leader Released from Prison “ China Aid Association On September 10, prominent Beijing house church leader, Pastor Cai Zhuohua, was released after three years in prison. According to The Voice of the Martyrs' contacts, "Cai was in good spirits when he was released. Cai was not allowed to read or have a Bible for the past three years. Since his release, he has been picked by the Public Security Bureau (PSB) and taken to their office. He has to report to the PSB office once a month and has been warned not to speak out or attend church services." Praise God that Pastor Cai has been reunited with his family. Pray God gives him and other believers in China courage to continually live for Christ, despite the immense challenges they face. Pray their testimonies will draw non-believers, even PSB officers, into the knowledge of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 1:7, Psalm 27:1
AZERBAIJAN Imprisoned Pastor's Appeal Resumes - Forum 18 News-UPDATE: On September 6, the lawyer for imprisoned Baptist Pastor Zaur Balaev expressed optimism as the appeals process began in Sheki Appeal Court in Azerbaijan. According to Forum 18 News service, Gazalfar Rzaev said, "Of course I am optimistic." Illya Zenchenko, head of Azerbaijan's Baptist Union, was also hopeful Balaev's two-year sentence, on charges he assaulted five police officers, would be overturned. However, Zenchenko does fear Balaev might not be fully exonerated. He told Forum 18 News, "This is a dilemma for the court. Clearing Balaev would mean incriminating the police officers who falsely testified against him." On August 8, Balaev was convicted under Article 315, Part 1 of the Criminal Code, which punishes the application or threat of application of violence against a state representative when he or she is carrying out official duties. Balaev was sentenced to two years in prison. Pray for Pastor Balaev and his family while he is in prison awaiting the outcome of his appeal. Ask God to encourage believers in Azerbaijan. Isaiah 54:7, 2 Timothy 1:7
CHINA House Church Leader in Xinjiang Formally Arrested, Church Leaders Released - China Aid Association
XINJIANG - On August 31, house church leader Zhou Heng was formally arrested for receiving three tons of Bibles. He is currently detained at Xishan Detention Center. According to China Aid Association (CAA), Zhou Heng's formal arrest notice accused him of "illegal business operations." CAA reported, "Our contacts recently spoke with a released inmate who shared a cell with Brother Zhou. He reported that Zhou was severely beaten by inmates and prison guards." Prior to his arrest on August 3, Zhou Heng managed a bookstore called Yayi Christian Book Room and sold religious books. "Local authorities have closed the bookstore. The Bibles Zhou was collecting were reportedly donated by South Korean churches and were intended for distribution to local believers free of charge. However, the Chinese government only allows officially sanctioned (state) churches to print and distribute a limited number of Bibles each year," CAA added.
INNER MONGOLIA: UPDATE - China Aid Association reported that authorities have released the seven house church leaders arrested on August 21. The Christian leaders were arrested during worship services. Praise God for the release of these Christian leaders. Pray for house church leader Zhou Heng and Christians in China who face challenges because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Psalm 27:1, Isaiah 54: 14
ERITREA Christian Tortured to Death in Eritrea - Compass Direct News/Open DoorsOn September 5, Eritrean authorities tortured to death 33-year-old Nigsti Haile for refusing to recant her Christian faith while being held at the Wi'a Military Training Center. Haile is the fourth Christian killed in Eritrea in less than a year. Compass Direct News reported, "She was one of 10 single Christian women arrested at a church gathering in Keren. They have spent 18 months under severe pressure. Haile was killed for refusing to sign a letter recanting her faith." In May 2002, government officials called in the leaders of all evangelical churches in Eritrea and told them they would not be permitted to hold further public services. Only the "historic religions" of Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran and Islam have been allowed to hold public worship since that time. Compass Direct says that more than 2,000 Eritrean Christians are imprisoned. Not a single one of them has been formally charged or had a public trial, and all have been denied legal representation. Amnesty International released a report yesterday that said most of the more than 2,000 imprisoned Christians have been held for more than two years in harsh conditions, with little or no medical care. Pray for the Holy Spirit to comfort the family of Nigsti Haile. Ask God to protect and encourage Christians in Eritrea, especially believers imprisoned because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Philippians 4:6-7, 2 Corinthians 10: 5-6

Monday, September 17, 2007

Been So Busy

Rocky Mountain town of Field, in BC

I have been away and I have been busy! What a busy week it has been! Thank you for your patience & faithfulness & comments. I appreciate both.

First of all, I had a quick & fun road trip on my own this week. I took off on Tuesday morning to Calgary for a couple days to visit my sister-in-law. It was the perfect time of year to go (before the unpredictable Alberta winters start) and the roads were beautiful. My hubby wasn't able to come so I made the trip alone & thoroughly enjoyed the drive. Stopped often to take photos of course and I will post more of those in the future I'm sure.

My sis & I had a great visit and my heart left Calgary very happy for her! I stayed in a beautiful Bed & Breakfast along Calgary's Fish Creek Park and spent some nice time hiking & exploring in the park. It was truly Fall already there, lots of beautiful leaves & a great crisp Fall smell in the air!

The weekend too was very busy. Barely had time to get home before we were off on another adventure. Some visiting photographers were in town this past week and busy doing photo outings. We joined them on Saturday morning to do the historical Mascot Mine tour in Hedley, BC. I have several photos of this fantastic mine that was built into the side of a cliff about a mile above sea level. It was a great tour and we loved the history of it...but oh the stairs. 589 of them, down and back up again! The ol' calves are a little tense now! But we did it and it was a very enjoyable & full day!

Sunday too, mom & dad came up and the 4 of us drove out to the Rock Creek Fall Fair. It was great as far as country fairs go. We watched lots of barrel racing, ate great greasy fair food, saw all the exhibits & Lawrence even won me a little stuffed pony throwing darts at balloons! A fun time was had by all!

So, now its back to Monday. I have dozens of photos to process and an article to write & appointments to make. Lots filling my mind already this Monday morning but I wanted to come in & say hello and share a few quick photos so you know I haven't forgotten you or your blogs.

Have a great week!!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Professing to be wise

"Professing to be wise, they became fools" Romans 1:22

Have you ever heard the saying "It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt."? (I think Mark Twain said this one) Unfortunately, I think we all have this fault now & then. Some may call it verbal diarhea, word vomit, foot-in-mouth etc. But sometimes we just say things that really make us look STUPID!

And sometimes we just can't help it. Sort of like embellishing the truth, or telling a great tale. When the response is so good, why can't we stop there? Some of you can, sometimes, I can't. And so I keep talking, maybe make up a part or two to make it more interesting. Hey, perhaps its my creative side. It would have been better if it happened that way... or something like that. But if you exaggerate too much, often you end up getting caught in your 'embellished truth' and the story listener may think 'foul'.

But how much worse is it when Christians appear stupid. Some of us can go on & on, spouting how great & godly we think we are. Verbalizing our wisdom & holier-than-thou perfection but the careful (and sometimes not so careful) observer can see right through us. Wisdom in one's own eyes is just that - you only appear wise to yourself but the big giant FOOL to everyone else who is seeing you say one thing and do another. Or if you aren't following through with what you say, you are also ruining precious words. Words that should be filled with love and TRUTH, not embellished with honey but stinking of mold! So if we sugar coat something to make it smell sweet, but the actions are foul, it is the rotteness that the world will see and we will be fools!

Speak truth! Follow through! Don't embellish. Love only!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Allergies :(

I'm really getting tired of this whole allergy season. Itchy eyes, runny nose and if it stops running -->congestion. I don't think I've had a good nights sleep in weeks. I finally started using those Breathe Right nasal strips & I love them. They really help. But still, I sit here at my computer this morning, scratching my eyeballs & filling the trash with tissues. Anti-histamines make me thirsty but I think I'd rather guzzle water than blow my nose one more time (or 50 more times)
Anybody else suffer seasonal / non-seasonal allergies? Any tips? Besides moving to the Arctic!
How AWESOME is heaven going to be without sickness or diseases!! Really! Can you imagine any ache, pain, blemish, hic-cup that you have now will be non-existant in Heaven! I can't wait. I'm reading on with Randy Alcorn's book "Heaven" and am so enjoying all his perspectives on what Heaven and The New Earth will be like. Totally anticipating how amazing the new earth can be! I wonder if I can ride a quad then too? I hope so!!
I want to thank everyone who commented on "The Story of Quadette". Lawrence says thank you to everyone who complimented his skills & thoughtfulness.
Korina - its amazing what a little paint will do eh!
Janice - I'm not a huge fan of surprises either - no wonder he has to be so sneaky at it.
Susan - I love jeeps too. I'm sure the boys will have fun suping it up!
Carol-Ann - yes, it still makes me smile too. Can't wait to ride it again.
Gina - thanks for the compliment - I wish the same for all women!
Sharon - I knew you'd approve!! Yes its loud and the neighbours have been very patient while he built it - constant revving in the backyard etc - but they think it looks pretty cool & I think they enjoyed watching the process too.
Thanks Dave - it WILL be a good season!
LGS, yes, it is his goal to always make other husbands look bad. :) I'm lucky for that!!
Amrita - I try to coordinate. Ha ha
Laurie - you ought to try it too!!
Ed - maybe we can drag them together before I become a racing machine!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Story of Quadette

As promised - the story of how my quad came to be...

My husband is an avid dirt biker and, while he wants me to learn to ride dirtbikes, we figured 4 wheels would be easier for me to start on than 2. About a year ago, we went to visit his folks in northern Alberta. They have a couple quads and a nice BIG property, so I got to take my first ride on a quad. It was a blast & I loved it. So Lawrence was excited to know how much I enjoyed it & vowed to get me one, one day. I told him we couldn't buy a quad until we had our own 'dirt', ie, our own home, because we were renting at the time. Well, lo & behold, we came home from Alberta to a notice from our landlord saying he had sold the house & we had 2 months to get out. So, we took the plunge & bought a house instead of sinking our funds into rent each month. And of course, that got Lawrence thinking about what I had said...

Some time after Christmas, Lawrence's dad called up with an offer. A quad for sale REAL cheap because it had been beside a shed that burnt down. All the plastic was melted off & needed new wiring but the frame, tires & motor were in great condition. So he agreed...without telling me of course. This is what the quad looked that time!
In March, the whole Wolfe family got together in Calgary for a family visit! Unbeknownst to me, dad was bringing the quad down for Lawrence. I couldn't figure out why on earth Lawrence wanted to drive the work van all the way to Calgary when we have a perfectly wonderful DIESEL car that would have been so much more efficient. We even argued about it because he didn't want to ruin the surprise. Luckily, I gave in & we took the work van!
My sister in law distracted me in our hotel rooms while THIS was going on outside in the parking lot...

All the boys helped load it into the van while I was being distracted. When we finally came downstairs, Lawrence handed me this pretty little gift bag & said it was an early birthday present.
Inside the gift bag was this toy quad. He said, that he knew I wanted one so now I was getting one. The whole family was watching. At first I didn't get it, and then I started freaking out that he might have bought me a quad cuz we so didn't have the money for a quad (or at least that's what I thought)So they whipped open the van doors and there was this THING in there with birthday bows on it & everybody was staring at me & waiting for my reaction...

And I sort of stood there looking at it thinking 'what the heck is that burnt piece of crap? and why does it have bows on it?' My biggest fear of taking the van was that Lawrence would fill it with junk to bring home. And I was looking at it with uncertainty, wondering if my fear was coming true!

It took a minute for me to catch on that it was a quad and that Lawrence was determined to fix it up for me. Mom Wolfe was so worried that I would freak out or be worried that it would be a never-ending project. But, I trusted my husband. Though he has a lot of projects always on the go, I knew that this one would be special and that he WOULD complete it because it was for me. So then, I was happy about the gift & looking forward to it.
Lawrence & I went out shopping to a big atv/motorsports shop in Calgary later that day & got me (and himself) new riding jerseys. Fox is finally bringing out NICE girl style stuff and I was in love with one that was camoflage & HOT PINK!!

And that became the inspiration for the quad colors that I chose. I wanted it to be girly but 'bad' looking at the same time. So slowly but surely, the project started to take shape. Thanks in particular to E-bay for us to be able to get a TONNE of used parts relatively cheap. He found me a whole set of plastic for a great deal. We just had to clean it up & pull off all the old labels.

Lawrence sanded & painted every single part on her. She was stripped down to nothing. Even the frame & muffler were repainted a shiny black.
We have a friend that is an autobody guy, so he came with his spray gun & painted more parts for me. Lots of accesorizing parts were in metallic pink...
And the inside of the rims were a vibrant metallic green

She was slowly starting to take shape, motor back to gether, wiring hooked up and hubby going for test runs around the backyard & up the driveway.
On our last trip down through Washington, we found another Honda shop that carried lots of different things that we hadn't been able to find in Canada. Including awesome helmets for girls. This is a fox brand to match my jersey with hot pink of course to match the quad. Our friend Jeff came one more time and painted all the plastic for us. Most of it was the metallic green and a couple parts were the pink. So Lawrence started to put it together.

And here she is in all her put-together glory. We even have a small mirror on the front (it covers a hole) but its very appropriate for a girl quad. Can check & see if I have dirt on my face after a good ride. LOL

And so, after a few photos in my gear, posing on her, it was time for me to try her out!

Lawrence took me, my quad & his dirtbike up one of the hills behind us and unloaded it for me. I was so chicken. I think lawnmowers go faster. I'd go & stop & go & stop. It took a while to get the hang of it. There was a good open spot to try but I had to go DOWN a steep hill first. That was scary, I went soooo slow because the dust was several inches deep (its very dry up there) and kept pulling me into the ditch. Anyways, I made it and then I started tearing around, getting braver & going faster, even up & down a few dusty hills. It was great fun & I had a blast. I can't wait to go again. Hopefully we'll get a bit of rain so it won't be such thick choking dust up there.

And that, my friends, is the story of Quadette. The Labour of Love project by my wonderful husband so that we can enjoy hours & hours of fun together up in the mountains that I love so much!

Monday, September 03, 2007

She's Ready

After 5 months, this Labour of Love project by my husband is complete.

Meet Quadette - the baddest looking girl quad in town.

We're about to take her for my inaugral ride. Will post more details on this project story tomorrow!!