“Hey Jack …”

My dad used to say, “Hey Jack, the lawn needs mowing!” or “Hey Jack, the lane needs shovelling!” There was no one in our family named Jack, but this was a cue for one of the boys (in my biased remembrance it was mostly me) to hop to it and do the assigned chore. As a young father I looked forward to the time when I could say to my son, “Jack, the lawn needs mowing!” My son who is also not named Jack ,has rarely heard these words. He was stricken with crippling psoriatic arthritis and I have always been more able to handle these chores than has he. To tell the truth, I really don’t mind these tasks and sometimes quite enjoy them but I wish, for his sake, that he had been better able to “hop to it” like I did as a youth.

Beyond his own health problems which include passing scads of kidney stones, his bride’s health took a nasty turn shortly after their marriage. Through agonizing migraines, heart issues and a rare form of vasculitis which cost her one leg, they have spent hours in hospitals. Both love the Lord and want to live to please him. Their urgent prayers for relief from these health issues have, so far, gone unanswered. Doggedly they continue to believe and to pray.

This Sunday David will be preaching at his church on the topic “Disappointment with God”. He began thinking about how we as Christians ought to respond when “life sucks”. I am really looking forward to this. I know he has valuable insights into this thorny topic. I am one proud father! I feel like saying, “Hey Jack, there is a sermon that needs preaching!”

We had our second day trip in our Roamin’ Holiday series. On our first trip 24 of us went to New River Beach. 15 of us set off on a foggy weekday morning for St. Andrews. We arrived at the Block House as the fog was still lifting. This is a part of the National Parks system and was built to defend against American invasion in the War of 1812. We have similar spots right here in Saint John but most of our entourage had never seen anything like it. The fog firmly lifted as we went to the park across the road for a picnic lunch. We had a veritable feast! After lunch many changed from long pants into shorts and we went across town to Kingsbrae Garden. Here we were awed by the floral beauty. We saw butterflies and birds and ladybugs. We sat in the shade when we could find it. We basked and then baked in the summer sun before returning safely to Saint John and its fog.

We have had a safe and fun filled Roamin’ Holiday, so far. I am grateful to all who have financially and prayerfully supported this summer adventure. We have had many opportunities to have spiritual discussions along the way. We hope we are planting seeds that our Father the Gardener will nurture into fruitfulness, to his glory.

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